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Thursday, December 15, 2011

Families, Prodigals and Turkeys [4]

So, the wayward son has returned. The father is ecstatic and has a party. The older son, Dave Jr., who has stayed behind is not happy.

What's up with Dave, Jr.?

After working all day in the fields, the older brother arrived at his house only to hear music, dancing, talking and merriment. When he discovered that the party was a celebration of his younger brother’s return, he became angry and refused to enter. In his attitude and statements we can pick out three characteristics that betray his real emotions.

First, is an angry spirit of grumbling

Verse 28 tells us he became angry. He actually flies into a rage. When his father came out to plead with him to join the party, he began to grumble and complain. He said, “I’ve never left home and spent all my money on prostitutes, and you’ve never even killed a little billy goat for me!”

Can you hear the whining?

Sometimes, when people have been around for a long time, they start to get jealous when we start paying attention to the new people. They are a little more possessive of the people or the situation than we had realized. That’s what's happening with the older brother, Dave Jr.

These people seem happy and content until we bring something new into the mix. This is true in our homes, churches, friendships and at work. And, the complaining is not always as loud as Dave, Jr's. Sometimes its in the body language or the tone. Sometimes you can't quite put your finger on it, but you know something is afoot.

We refer to them as grumblers, complainer, criticizers or gripers. They usually start out with something like, “Now I don’t mean to be critical but...” and then that’s exactly what they do; they criticize.

You want to say to them, “Come on in and join the party!” But they’d rather be miserable and stand on the outside with their arms crossed, a sour expression on their face...


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