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Give Me … Make Me

“The younger of them said to his father, ‘Father, give me the share of the estate that falls to me.’ … ‘I will get up and go to my father, and will say to him, “Father, I have sinned against heaven, and in your sight; I am no longer worthy to be called your son; make me as one of your hired men.”’”  Luke 15:12, 18-19 (NASB)

Luke 15 resembles God’s lost and found department; firstly a story of the lost sheep, then the lost silver coin and finally the lost son.  In the parable of the lost son I want you to see something very interesting.  Notice the words of the prodigal son “give me!”  He returned home saying, “Make me!”

The younger son went to his father demanding, “Father give me my inheritance.”  The Living Bible phrases it:

I want my share of your estate now.  Luke 15:12 (TLB)

Our culture is one of entitlement and grabbing.  Cultural forces teach us to claim for all that we can, demand our rights and insist on getting all we are due.  Unfortunately, this attitude of heart is not only found in the world.  It has slithered its way into the church.  “Give me” is such a self-absorbed and indulgent way of looking at things.  It is all about me, mine, what I can get and how I can get it.  Instead of seeking the Father’s heart, too many are solely seeking His hand.  Paul tells Timothy about the last days:

People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful.  2 Timothy 3:2 (NIV)

This is the “give me” mentality.

Thankfully the story has not ended.  Eventually, as Luke tells us, the son came to his senses.  He realised that everything he wanted – and ever needed – was to be found only in the father’s house.  The key to maturity is “make me”, not “give me.”  Make me, Father, what you want me to be.  In the beautiful old hymn Have Thine own way, Lord, the lyrics of the first stanza read:

Have thine own way, Lord!  Have thine own way!
Thou art the potter, I am the clay.
Mould me and make me after thy will,
While I am waiting, yielded and still.

“Give me” brought misery.  “Make me” brought joy.  What is our mentality today?  “Give me” or “make me”?