The all boys’ camp started off with a familiar story…the story of a boy who wanted freedom and decided he knew better than his father from Luke 15.
Melissa introduced the story of the prodigal son by talking about the importance of humble confidence, something we all want to instill in our boys. She asked the guys to identify where in the story the son had an arrogant confidence and where he had one that was born out of humility. You can guess their answers: his arrogance came out when he wanted his inheritance now, and the humility when he returned to his father. She then asked them where in the story they found themselves…asking for their inheritance, wandering, returning, or even watching from a distance as the jealous, older brother.
The boys’ responses were indicative of all of us, at times:
“I really just don’t want anyone to expect anything of me.”
“I don’t like knowing if I make a mistake that other people will have to deal with it.”
“Yeah, I like to backseat drive because then, when they mess up, it’s on them and not me.”
“I’ll do it when I want, but don’t expect it of me.”
“I think I just want to be free to make my own choices and do what I want. I don’t like the pressure of expectations.”
When it comes down to it, we all believe, at times, we need our inheritance so we can be “free”. But what the son really needed the most was his father’s love. While he was still a long way off, his father ran out to meet him. He not only met him, but threw him a party.
Melissa went on to say that Satan is fine with us taking our inheritance and wandering. He’s even fine with us working and trying hard. But what Satan does NOT want is for us to believe we have a father who wants to throw us a party, who would rush out to meet us and embrace us with his love. God, our loving Father, wants us to know freedom, not arrogant recklessness.
The humble confidence of the prodigal son was not a confidence in himself or his ability to manage his life, but a trusting confidence in the deep, abiding love of a father who forgives. Knowing and believing that kind of love is where we all—boys and girls—kids and grownups—find true freedom.