We’ve been considering change. Why do people change? What does it take for true transformation to take place in our lives?
One of the most dramatic illustrations of personal change is found in the parable of the prodigal son, found in the Gospel of Luke, Chapter 15, verses 11 through 24.
In this story, Jesus pointed out the defining moment that came in the life of a young man who was literally in the pigpen reflecting on his life. He admitted he had made a mess of things. He knew something had to give. He came to the realization that what he had been doing wasn’t working.
The prodigal had reached an all-time low. It was a wake-up call for him. He knew something had to change. He began thinking about a different life. He knew it could be a better life. In his case, it was the life he had already known. It was the life that he left.
He began reflecting on his past. He remembered three square meals a day. He remembered how nice it was to have a roof over his head. I’m sure he must have thought about how much he missed his family. He had to wonder how he had ended up there in the pigpen. Why did I leave home in the first place?
Then he did a little cost-benefit analysis. He began evaluating his current condition. He considered his options. He weighed the pros and cons of each. He thought about the price he had paid to leave home. He considered the price he would have to pay if he went back.
There would be a price to going back home. Going home would require a good dose of humility. There was plenty of risk to going home. What if his father rejected him? What if he was not welcome? He had burned a lot of bridges. There were no guarantees.
On the upside, he would love to leave that pigpen once and for all. I’m sure a home-cooked meal was sounding really good. Maybe he could reconcile the relationship with his dad. After weighing the pros and cons, he came to a sensible conclusion.
There was a moment of decision. It was a defining moment. He came to his senses (see Luke 15:17). He decided to take action. He climbed out of the pigpen, and he went back home. A significant change was initiated in that one defining moment. It started when he came to his senses. We’ll find out what happened next time.
You may read Steve Greene’s blog at pastorgreene.wordpress.com or you can email him at [email protected].