It can't be wrong to want my prodigal to do the right thing, can it?

It can't be wrong to want my prodigal to do the right thing, can it?

A Story by Precious Prodigal

July 4, 2013:

Micah 6:8  “…what doth the Lord require of thee, but to do justly…

“I never had a policy; I have just tried to do my very best each and every day.” Abraham Lincoln

As parents, we have made a huge investment in the lives of our kids. We have sacrificed for them, taught them, disciplined them, prayed for them and required things of them. We held that tiny miracle in our arms and dreamed of the wonderful things he would accomplish. However, the reality is very different when those children grow up, and it’s not easy to let them figure things out for themselves. That difficulty goes off the chart if your kid is a prodigal. I really do want to do the right thing, but it isn’t always easy to know what’s right. And it isn’t always easy to do the right thing once I figure out what it is.

One of the things that immediately come to mind is the many ways I try to get my prodigal to do what I think is the right thing. If you’re like me, I don’t need to make a list…you could probably make a really long list yourself of the ways you’ve tried to make them do something. And it’s really hard for me to see that doing what’s right means I stop trying to manipulate my prodigal into doing what I think he needs to do. Is it wrong to want the people I love to stop drinking or using drugs? Is it wrong to want them to trust Christ, get in church, to go to work or just to live responsible lives?

Of course not. But praying about it or talking to him about it isn’t the same as trying to trick him into doing it. Trying to trick someone into saying or doing or being anything is not only futile, it’s also wrong. When I simplify it down to its most basic form, it’s lying. And even if my motives are the absolute best they can be, I can’t do what’s wrong and expect it to turn out right. Life and God’s law of the harvest just don’t work that way.

It isn’t always easy to know what the right thing is, and it’s even harder sometimes to do it. And if it involves someone we love who is hurting himself and everyone else, it becomes more difficult still. You and I won’t do it perfectly. Aren’t you glad we don’t have to? But we can make a beginning by asking God to help us give the prodigal to Him and then to take our hands off. God hears your prayers, and He is totally aware of your broken heart. He sees it, and He knows. He also knows the root cause of that need to control is fear. And when we are in the grip of desperate fear, it isn’t easy to do the right thing even when we know it’s right. Maybe, like Abraham Lincoln, we don’t need a “policy” of doing what’s right. We just need to do our very best day by day.

Challenge for Today: Can you, just for today, choose to do the right thing by not trying to control people, places, situations?

© 2013 Precious Prodigal

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