As a parent, I cherish my children’s laughter as background noise but despise their arguing and fighting. I imagine it’s disheartening to God when His children argue and resent one another. The father in this story desires harmony in his family and comes out to reason with the older brother to join the party. The older brother refuses and is bitter that his brother left and spent his inheritance while he stayed home and worked. As children of God, we each have an equal inheritance. God loves us and plays no favorites, regardless of our past. He desires that everyone come home to a life of repentance. We are called to love, encourage, and pray for one another. God desires that we have a heart like His; “compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in love” (Psalm 103:8).
Read: Ephesians 4:29-32; Hosea 14:1-2, 4