Prodigal Son Quotes

Quotes tagged as "prodigal-son" Showing 1-30 of 61
“Ironically, it was the father's blessing that actually "financed" the prodigal son's trip away from the Father's face! and it was the son's new revelation of his poverty of heart that propelled him back into his Father's arms. Sometimes we use the very blessings that God gives us to finance our journey away from the centrality of Christ. It's very important that we return back to ground zero, to the ultimate eternal goal of abiding with the Father's in intimate communion. (pg. 243)”
Tommy Tenney, The God Chasers: "My Soul Follows Hard After Thee"

Henri J.M. Nouwen
“For a very long time I considered low self-esteem to be some kind of virtue. But now I realize that the real sin is to deny God’s first love for me, to ignore my original goodness. Because without claiming that first love and that original goodness for myself, I lose touch with my true self and embark on the destructive search among the wrong people and in the wrong places for what can only be found in the house of my Father.”
Henri J.M. Nouwen, The Return of the Prodigal Son: A Story of Homecoming

Henri J.M. Nouwen
“This is the mystery that Jesus himself became the prodigal son for our sake. There is no journey to God outside of the journey that Jesus made. Since his Son had become all in all, He has brought them all back. Rembrandt’s painting is the whole of humanity returning to God, the summary of the history of our salvation.”
Henri J.M. Nouwen, The Return of the Prodigal Son: A Story of Homecoming

Henri J.M. Nouwen
“There are many elder sons and elder daughters who are lost while still at home. And it is this lostness—characterized by judgment and condemnation, anger and resentment, bitterness and jealousy—that is so pernicious and so damaging to the human heart. Often we think about lostness in terms of actions that are quite visible. The lostness of the elder son is much harder to identify. A dark power erupts in him and boils to the surface. Suddenly, there becomes glaringly visible a resentful, proud, unkind, selfish person.”
Henri J.M. Nouwen, The Return of the Prodigal Son: A Story of Homecoming

Henri J.M. Nouwen
“Resentment is an inner complaint. I discover within me that murmuring, whining, grumbling, lamenting, and griping that go on and on even against my will. The more I dwell on the matters in question, the worse my state becomes. The more I analyze it, the more reason I see for complaint. I become more and more lost until, in the end, I feel myself to be the most misunderstood, rejected, neglected, and despised person in the world. Of one thing I am sure. Complaining is self-perpetuating and counterproductive. Whenever I express my complaints in the hope of evoking pity and receiving the satisfaction I so much desire, the result is always the opposite of what I tried to get. A complainer is hard to live with, and very few people know how to respond to the complaints made by a self-rejecting person. The tragedy is that, often, the complaint, once expressed, leads to that which is most feared: further rejection.”
Henri J.M. Nouwen, The Return of the Prodigal Son: A Story of Homecoming

Henri J.M. Nouwen
“As I want to be most selfless, I find myself obsessed about being loved. Just when I do my utmost to accomplish a task well, I find myself questioning why others do not give themselves as I do. Wherever my virtuous self is, there also is the resentful complainer. I am totally unable to root out my resentments. They are so deeply anchored in the soil of my inner self that pulling them out seems like self-destruction. I cannot be reborn from below; that is, with my own strength, with my own mind, with my own psychological insights. I can only be healed from above, from where God reaches down.”
Henri J.M. Nouwen, The Return of the Prodigal Son: A Story of Homecoming

Henri J.M. Nouwen
“I have to let go of all comparison, all rivalry and competition, and surrender to the Father’s love. This requires a leap of faith because I have little experience of non-comparing love. I can only remain in the resentful complaint that results from my comparisons. In the light of God I can finally see my neighbor as my brother, as the one who belongs as much to God as I do. But outside of God’s house, brothers and sisters, husbands and wives, lovers and friends become rivals and even enemies; each perpetually plagued by jealousies, suspicions, and resentments.”
Henri J.M. Nouwen, The Return of the Prodigal Son: A Story of Homecoming

Henri J.M. Nouwen
“I see how lost the elder son is. He has become a foreigner in his own house. I know the pain of this predicament. In it, everything loses its spontaneity. Everything becomes suspect, self-conscious, calculated, and full of second-guessing. There is no longer any trust. Each little move calls for a countermove; each little remark begs for analysis; the smallest gesture has to be evaluated. This is the pathology of the darkness. I cannot forgive myself. I cannot make myself feel loved. By myself I cannot leave the land of my anger. I cannot bring myself home.”
Henri J.M. Nouwen, The Return of the Prodigal Son: A Story of Homecoming

Henri J.M. Nouwen
“The return to the “Father from whom all fatherhood takes its name” allows me to let my dad be no less than the good, loving, but limited human being he is, and to let my heavenly Father be the God whose unlimited, unconditional love melts away all resentments and anger and makes me free to love beyond the need to please or find approval.”
Henri J.M. Nouwen, The Return of the Prodigal Son: A Story of Homecoming

Henri J.M. Nouwen
“We can allow ourselves to be found by God and healed by his love through the concrete and daily practice of trust and gratitude. Trust and gratitude are the disciplines for the conversion of the elder son. By telling myself that I am not important enough to be found, I amplify my self-complaint. I must totally disown my self-rejecting voice and claim the truth that God does indeed want to embrace me as much as he does my wayward brothers and sisters.”
Henri J.M. Nouwen, The Return of the Prodigal Son: A Story of Homecoming

Henri J.M. Nouwen
“Resentment and gratitude cannot coexist, since resentment blocks the perception and experience of life as a gift. My resentment tells me that I don’t receive what I deserve. It always manifests itself in envy. The discipline of gratitude is the explicit effort to acknowledge that all I am and have is given to me as a gift of love, a gift to be celebrated with joy. Gratitude as a discipline involves a conscious choice. I can choose to be grateful even when my emotions and feelings are still steeped in hurt and resentment. I can choose to be grateful when I am criticized, even when my heart still responds in bitterness. There is always the choice between resentment and gratitude.”
Henri J.M. Nouwen, The Return of the Prodigal Son: A Story of Homecoming

Henri J.M. Nouwen
“Both trust and gratitude require the courage to take risks because distrust and resentment, in their need to keep their claim on me, keep warning me how dangerous it is to let go of my careful calculations and guarded predictions. At many points I have to make a leap of faith to let trust and gratitude have a chance. The leap of faith always means loving without expecting to be loved in return, giving without wanting to receive, inviting without hoping to be invited, holding without asking to be held. And every time I make a little leap, I catch a glimpse of the One who runs out to me and invites me into his joy, the joy in which I can find not only myself, but also my brothers and sisters.”
Henri J.M. Nouwen, The Return of the Prodigal Son: A Story of Homecoming

Henri J.M. Nouwen
“Here lies hidden the great call to conversion: to look not with the eyes of my own low self-esteem, but with the eyes of God’s love. As long as I keep looking at God as a landowner, as a father who wants to get the most out of me for the least cost, I cannot but become jealous, bitter, and resentful toward my fellow workers or my brothers and sisters. But if I am able to look at the world with the eyes of God’s love and discover that God’s vision is not that of a stereotypical landowner or patriarch but rather that of an all-giving and forgiving father who does not measure out his love to his children according to how well they behave, then I quickly see that my only true response can be deep gratitude.”
Henri J.M. Nouwen, The Return of the Prodigal Son: A Story of Homecoming

Henri J.M. Nouwen
“The question is not “How am I to find God?” but “How am I to let myself be found by him?”. God is not the patriarch who stays home, doesn’t move, and expects his children to come to him, apologize for their aberrant behavior, beg for forgiveness, and promise to do better. To the contrary, he leaves the house, ignoring his dignity by running toward them, pays no heed to apologies and promises of change, and brings them to the table. When I look through God’s eyes at my lost self and discover God’s joy at my coming home, then my life may become less anguished and more trusting.”
Henri J.M. Nouwen, The Return of the Prodigal Son: A Story of Homecoming

Henri J.M. Nouwen
“It's about my own self-concept. Can I accept that I am worth looking for? Here lies the core of my spiritual struggle: the struggle against self-rejection, self-contempt, and self-loathing. It is a very fierce battle because the world and its demons conspire to make me think about myself as worthless, useless, and negligible. As long as I am kept “small,” I can easily be seduced to buy things, meet people, or go places that promise a radical change in self-concept even though they are totally incapable of bringing this about. But every time I allow myself to be thus manipulated or seduced, I will have still more reasons for putting myself down and seeing myself as the unwanted child.”
Henri J.M. Nouwen, The Return of the Prodigal Son: A Story of Homecoming

Henri J.M. Nouwen
“Will we understand the father’s joy? Will we let the Father embrace us? This is our resistance to living a joyful life. God rejoices. Not because the problems of the world have been solved, not because all human pain and suffering have come to an end, nor because thousands of people have been converted and are now praising him for his goodness. No, God rejoices because one of his children who was lost has been found. It is God’s joy, not the joy that the world offers. It is the joy that comes from seeing a child walk home amid all the destruction, devastation, and anguish of the world. It is a hidden joy.”
Henri J.M. Nouwen, The Return of the Prodigal Son: A Story of Homecoming

Henri J.M. Nouwen
“Spiritual fatherhood has nothing to do with power or control. It is a fatherhood of compassion. But the father of the prodigal son is not concerned about himself. His long-suffering life has emptied him of his desires to keep in control of things. Can I give without wanting anything in return, love without putting any conditions on my love?”
Henri J.M. Nouwen, The Return of the Prodigal Son: A Story of Homecoming

Henri J.M. Nouwen
“I can see three ways to a truly compassionate fatherhood: grief, forgiveness, and generosity. Grief is the discipline of the heart that sees the sin of the world, and knows itself to be the sorrowful price of freedom without which love cannot bloom. I am beginning to see that much of praying is grieving. Grief allows me to see beyond my wall and realize the immense suffering that results from human lostness.”
Henri J.M. Nouwen, The Return of the Prodigal Son: A Story of Homecoming

Henri J.M. Nouwen
“I have often said, “I forgive you,” but even as I said these words my heart remained angry or resentful. I still wanted to hear the story that tells me that I was right after all. It demands of me that I step over that wounded part of my heart that feels hurt and wronged and that wants to stay in control. It is a wall of fear of being used or hurt again. It is climbing over a wall of my pride, and the desire to stay in control. Forgiveness is the way to step over the wall and welcome others into my heart without expecting anything in return.”
Henri J.M. Nouwen, The Return of the Prodigal Son: A Story of Homecoming

Henri J.M. Nouwen
“Generosity is a giving that comes from the knowledge of an intimate bond. True generosity is acting on the truth—not on the feeling—that those I am asked to forgive are “kinfolk,” and belong to my family. And whenever I act this way, that truth will become more visible to me. Generosity creates the family it believes in.”
Henri J.M. Nouwen, The Return of the Prodigal Son: A Story of Homecoming

Henri J.M. Nouwen
“There is a dreadful emptiness in the spiritual fatherhood. No power, no success, no popularity, no easy satisfaction. But that same dreadful emptiness is also the place of true freedom. It is the place where there is “nothing left to lose.” There I am free to receive the burdens of others without any need to evaluate, categorize, or analyze. There, in that completely non-judgmental state of being. I felt no desire to ask questions about the past or to speculate about the future. Each time we touch that sacred emptiness of non-demanding love, heaven and earth tremble and there is great “rejoicing among the angels of God.”
Henri J.M. Nouwen, The Return of the Prodigal Son: A Story of Homecoming

Henri J.M. Nouwen
“As a self-rejecting person always in search of affirmation and affection, I find it impossible to love consistently without asking for something in return.”
Henri J.M. Nouwen, The Return of the Prodigal Son: A Story of Homecoming

Henri J.M. Nouwen
“Never in my life did I dream that men and women with a mental handicap would be the ones who would put their hands on me in a gesture of blessing and offer me a home. For a long time, I had sought safety and security among the wise and clever, hardly aware that the things of the Kingdom were revealed to “little children”; that God has chosen “those who by human standards are fools to shame the wise.”
Henri J.M. Nouwen, The Return of the Prodigal Son: A Story of Homecoming

Henri J.M. Nouwen
“As long as I lived by myself, it seemed rather easy to keep the elder son hidden from view. But the sharing of life with people who are not hiding their feelings soon confronted me with the elder son within. There is little romanticism to community life. There is the constant need to keep stepping out of the engulfing darkness onto the platform of the father’s embrace. By just simply being who they are, they break through my sophisticated defenses and demand that I be as open with them as they are with me.”
Henri J.M. Nouwen, The Return of the Prodigal Son: A Story of Homecoming

Henri J.M. Nouwen
“Rembrandt portrays the father as the man who has transcended the ways of his children. His own loneliness and anger may have been there, but they have been transformed by suffering and tears. I see the immense beauty of the father’s emptiness and compassion.”
Henri J.M. Nouwen, The Return of the Prodigal Son: A Story of Homecoming

Chester Brown
“Yes, I know. You don't understand—I love you because of what you did, not despite it.”
Chester Brown, Mary Wept Over the Feet of Jesus: Prostitution and Religious Obedience in the Bible

Chester Brown
“In his disobedience, your brother is alive. You, in your resentful subservience, are dead. Do you think God wants mindless worshippers who can only follow instructions?”
Chester Brown, Mary Wept Over the Feet of Jesus: Prostitution and Religious Obedience in the Bible

Mwanandeke Kindembo
“We have the concept of the prodigal son on Earth. But what if the devil applies the same in heaven. To be forgiven for going against the laws of God.”
Mwanandeke Kindembo

Sebastien  Richard
“We love to talk about the repentance of the prodigal son and the forgiveness of the father, but we seem to miss the part about the son's restoration.”
Sebastien Richard, Kingdom Fundamentals: What the Kingdom of God Means and What it Means for You

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