One of the lessons Jesus taught in the parable of the Prodigal Son is this: don’t give up on someone no matter how bad things may be in their lives. We give up too soon because:
(1) We see only their conduct. But we don’t know the experiences they’ve gone through that may have made them what they are. Sometimes people ‘act out’ of the pain of unhealed wounds and unresolved issues they carry inside them. Sometimes their anger is masking deep fear. Other times, they act like the dysfunctional parents who raised them, because those are the tools they were given to work with. And until someone shows them a new and better way to handle life, they’ll remain stuck.
(2) We don’t know what people are struggling with. Don’t let their façade of success fool you. Someone can live in a nice home, and drive a nice car to a nice job, yet their marriage is falling apart, their children are in rebellion, and their mind is going crazy. They need your compassion. Instead of writing them off as a lost cause, ask God for words of wisdom. Isaiah said, ‘The Sovereign Lord has given me a well-instructed tongue, to know the word that sustains the weary. He wakens me morning by morning, wakens my ear to listen like one being instructed.’ (Isaiah 50:4 NIV) If you’ll keep praying for them and trying to help them, God will make you a paramedic of His mercy and grace.
So the word for you today is: don’t give up on them—because God hasn’t!