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The Prodigal > The Prodigal- Chapter 4 Discussion Question

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message 1: by Britnie (new)

Britnie | 352 comments Mod
“I read your books,” Father Frank was saying as Jack poured this last beer. From down the bar, Shayla chimed in, “I started the first one, Jack, but I couldn’t get all the way through it.” She made an I’m sorry face. “It made me feel bad about myself.”
“That was sort of the point,” Jack muttered. “We don’t feel bad enough about ourselves.”

Something about this small part really struck a chord with me. What are your thoughts on this part and what Shayla says to Jack, and Jacks response?

message 2: by Britnie (new)

Britnie | 352 comments Mod
When I read this, it really stuck out to me. Something about that whole conversation bothered me. While I was reading the rest of the chapter even, that small part was in the back of my mind. How many people have given their lives to God, but are still haunted by their past? Sometimes we can feel like "We don't feel bad enough." Or, "How could God love me when I've done so much wrong?" Jack reminds me of what I like to call the "fire and brimstone" preacher. He's the one that almost wants you to consistently feel convicted, and to give your life to God out of fear, instead of love, and Grace, and Mercy.

In Micah 7:18 it talks about how when we ask for forgiveness, God throws our sins into the sea of forgetfulness. This means that after we ask for forgiveness, God in all his mercy forgets about our sins. We become clean again, and pure. Sometimes when I think about my past, I think, "Man was I stupid... I can't believe I did that?" I can almost hear God saying "I don't know what you're talking about?" If God can forgive us, why do we have so much trouble forgiving ourselves?

Jack doesn't want to forget about mistakes, he thinks you should be convicted about everything you've done until the day you die. Luckily, that's not how God works. Yes God wants us to learn from our mistakes, but he doesn't hold them over our head. He forgives us, and he casts it into the sea of forgetfulness. He knows we're human, and we're going to mess up. Yet, he loves us anyways. We were made in his image, and as Father Frank said from Romans(I think 8:35-36) NOTHING can separate us from God. What a Gracious, Merciful, Compassionate and Understanding God.

message 3: by Darlene (new)

Darlene I agree with everything you said. I also see the other side of it though. Although we shouldn't feel convicted constantly because of our past sins, we do need to be honest with ourselves to avoid those sins we tend to repeat over and over. Also, if we don't reflect on our past, I think we can lose the appreciation of the great gift of mercy that has been given to us. I guess there should be some type of balance: not beating ourselves up and tearing ourselves down because of past sins, but still somehow having an awareness of what we have done and yet God's grace and mercy have washed it all away.

I could be way off base. I am really looking forward to hearing other's thoughts on this.

message 4: by Michelle (new)

Michelle Esparza | 119 comments Britnie and Darlene both have made great points that I love.

I do believe that we need to be held accountable and called out at times. I know I sure do and am thankful when I hear a message that gets me thinking or feeling convicted. However, there is also grace and forgiveness from Jesus Christ. If we are in sin and repeat the actions then we are condemning ourselves and sometimes need to hear what we need to change and why, but again, there is whole other part to this. A part that should not be forgotten because it is the reason why Jesus came, and that is to repent, turn from those sins, and proclaim the victory that you have found in Jesus. I am glad that God doesn't take the memories away from us from our past because we do need to remember where we came from and what life was like before. But I am so happy and forever thankful that I have been forgiven and therefore should no longer feel condemned.

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