As you read the story of the prodigal son in Luke 15 you get the distinct impression that the two sons had a misconception of how love worked.

The younger son left home with all his wealth and spent it (wasted it) on a sinful and lavish lifestyle. When he finally came to his senses and decided to return home he thought that he was no longer “worthy” to be called a son. He figured he hadn’t earned the right to be in the family anymore. “I’m not good enough to be called a son!” The older son, who had never left home, had worked hard his entire life trying to impress the father and win the love of the father through good works. He said to the dad, ‘Lo, these many years I have been serving you; I never transgressed your commandment at any time; and yet you never gave me a young goat, that I might make merry with my friends.” Both young men were wrong in their approach to the father and their concept of love.

Love is not earned, paid for, deserved or worked for through a series of good acts and proper behavior. Love is given. Love is expressed. Love is received. Love is action towards another person regardless of their childishness or selfishness. When someone is pushing all the wrong buttons, love is patient and kind towards them. So, love is simply not deserved.

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