Thursday, January 29, 2009

I am an elder brother

This is true in two ways. For one, I'm an older brother to my sister Kara. I'm also an elder brother in Jesus' story in Luke 15. I recently read The Prodigal God by Tim Keller (see sidebar of the blog for more details). In the book, Keller looks at this familiar story and analyzes it a bit. The following quote was probably the most convicting quote in the book for me:
"Elder brothers are under great pressure to appear, even to themselves, happy and content."
This definitely describes how I live a lot of my life. I'm addicted to approval and I want others to think things are going well in my life. He goes on to talk about how elder brothers typically lack a real assurance that God loves and delights in them. He gives three different signs that reveal this lack of assurance:
"1) Every time something goes wrong in your life or a prayer goes unanswered, you wonder if it’s because you aren’t living right in this or that area.

2) criticism from others doesn’t just hurt your feelings, it devastates you. This is because your sense of God’s love is abstract and has little real power in your life, and you need the approval of others to bolster your sense of value.

3) But perhaps the clearest symptom…is a dry prayer life."
Although all of these show up in my life, none is more true than #2. I need freedom.


  1. i saw him speak on this last night! :)

  2. and now, brother, you're an elder!