The Parable of the Two Sons
...But what do you think? A man had two sons, and he came to the first and said, "Son, go, work today in my vineyard." He answered and said, "I will not," but afterward he regretted it and went. Then he came to the second and said likewise. And he answered and said, "I go, sir," but he did not go. Which of the two did the will of his father?
They said to Him, “The first.”
Jesus said to them, “Assuredly, I say to you that tax collectors and harlots enter the kingdom of God before you. For John came to you in the way of righteousness, and you did not believe him; but tax collectors and harlots believed him; and when you saw it, you did not afterward relent and believe him.
This verse has stuck with me for a long time. This is the verse that got me thinking about responses.
I think there was a third son. Did you know there was a third son? Jesus did not even find it worthwhile to talk about him.
I would like to think of myself as the first son, but more often than not I am the second son. Even worse, more often than that I am the third son that Jesus never mentions. The third son doesn't even try to do the right thing; doesn't even say, "Yes." I am the son that just says, "No." to begin with and doesn't even reconsider.
My versions of saying, "No." often are about waste. They include: Wasting thoughts; wasting time; wasting talent; wasting precious moments with loved ones; wasting resources.
When I talk to my boys about wasting money, I tell them it is like taking a dollar bill and setting it on fire--a very good visual. I am trying to create visuals for myself that will help me to waste less, respond with love.
Which child are you? How do you choose good responses?