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Old 08-06-2017, 07:01 AM   #1
leastofthese
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Default Prodigal God

An excerpt from Prodigal God by Keller that made me think of LSM.

(In context of the Luke 15 parable)

"Elder brothers base their self-images on being hardworking, or moral, or members of an elite clan, or extremely smart and savvy. This inevitably leads to feeling superior to those who don't have those same qualities. In fact, competitive comparison is the main way elder brothers achieve a sense of their own significance. Racism and classism are just different versions of this form of the self-salvation project. This dynamic becomes exceptionally intense when elder brothers pride themselves above all for their right religion. If a group believes God favors them because of their particularly true doctrine, ways of worship, and ethical behavior, their attitude towards those without these things can be hostile. Their self-righteousness hides under the claim that they are only opposing the enemies of God. When you look at the world through those lenses, it becomes easy to justify hate and oppression, all in the name of truth.

... Elder brothers have an undercurrent of anger toward life circumstances, hold grudges long and bitterly, look down on people of other races, religions, and lifestyles, experience life as a joyless, crushing drudgery, have little intimacy and joy in their prayer lives, and have a deep insecurity that makes them overly sensitive to criticism and rejection yet fierce and merciless in condemning others. What a terrible picture! And yet the rebellious path of the younger brother is obviously not a better alternative."
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Old 08-06-2017, 08:01 AM   #2
JJ
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Default Re: Prodigal God

Right on! Describes me as well when I succumb to the comparison trap.
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Old 08-06-2017, 04:37 PM   #3
ZNPaaneah
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Default Re: Prodigal God

Quote:
Originally Posted by leastofthese View Post
An excerpt from Prodigal God by Keller that made me think of LSM.

(In context of the Luke 15 parable)

"Elder brothers base their self-images on being hardworking, or moral, or members of an elite clan, or extremely smart and savvy. This inevitably leads to feeling superior to those who don't have those same qualities. In fact, competitive comparison is the main way elder brothers achieve a sense of their own significance. Racism and classism are just different versions of this form of the self-salvation project. This dynamic becomes exceptionally intense when elder brothers pride themselves above all for their right religion. If a group believes God favors them because of their particularly true doctrine, ways of worship, and ethical behavior, their attitude towards those without these things can be hostile. Their self-righteousness hides under the claim that they are only opposing the enemies of God. When you look at the world through those lenses, it becomes easy to justify hate and oppression, all in the name of truth.

... Elder brothers have an undercurrent of anger toward life circumstances, hold grudges long and bitterly, look down on people of other races, religions, and lifestyles, experience life as a joyless, crushing drudgery, have little intimacy and joy in their prayer lives, and have a deep insecurity that makes them overly sensitive to criticism and rejection yet fierce and merciless in condemning others. What a terrible picture! And yet the rebellious path of the younger brother is obviously not a better alternative."
Reminds me of Matthew 18

18 At the same time came the disciples unto Jesus, saying, Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?

2 And Jesus called a little child unto him, and set him in the midst of them,

3 And said, Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven.

4 Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, the same is greatest in the kingdom of heaven.


In modern psychology speak this refers to two different mindsets:

1 mindset says "I'm the elder, the wiser, the shepherd of the flock" as a result they have to protect every instance that would reveal their shortcomings. This is not the mindset we had originally as children.

The other mindset is all about growing and learning. We are excited to be children of God, it is a whole new creation, so much to learn, so much to experience, everyday our faith can grow, our love can grow, we have a hope that does not waver.

The first mindset is desperate to have "arrived" as that is the all consuming goal and purpose of life.

The second mindset is focused on the journey, and can enjoy every day as having made steps forward, having grown in life, having come to know Jesus in a deeper and more solid way.
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