But he was angry and refused to go in. – Luke 15:28a
Big Brother trudged home from the field after another hard day’s work in the hot sun. Chances are, he just wanted to eat a hearty meal, then kick back before going to bed. Instead, he walked into the mother of all parties. He heard festive music. He saw people dancing. Befuddled, he asked a servant what was going on. The servant informed him, “Your brother has come, and your father has killed the fattened calf, because he has received him back safe and sound” (Luke 15:27).
Put yourself in Big Brother’s shoes. What is bubbling up inside of you right now? What is coming to the surface? For Big Brother, its anger. His anger is like smoke rising from the front of a car. He must look under the hood into his heart to diagnose what is really going on. This will become clearer to him and us as we read on in the story.
Do you ever have such moments? You’re chugging along in big brother mode, taking care of business and living up to expectations. But from time to time, anger and resentment boil up inside of you, unbidden and unwelcome. You tell yourself, “It’s wrong to feel that way.” You press it down and press on.
It’s time to look under the hood. “The purpose in a man’s heart is like deep water, but a man of understanding will draw it out” (Proverbs 20:5). Jesus is that man of understanding. He will help you.
Suggestions for prayer
Thank God for sending us His Spirit to convict our hearts. Pray for grace to diagnose your anger.
Rev. Richard Zekveld is the pastor of the Covenant Fellowship Church (PCA) in South Holland, Illinois, a Chicagoland suburb. This daily devotional is also available in a print edition you can buy at Nearer to God Devotional.