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Our Bailout Culture and the Beauty of Bankruptcy

December 17, 2008
Selwyn Duke

The story of the Prodigal Son teaches a beautiful lesson about repentance and forgiveness. As you may know, it involves a lazy, irresponsible young man who insists upon taking his share of the family inheritance immediately and striking out on his own. He then proceeds to squander it on a dissolute lifestyle and ends up destitute, living like an animal. Duly chastened and humbled and purged of his spirit of entitlement, he approaches his father in contrition and asks for aid, saying that he would be satisfied to just be treated as a servant. The father, overwhelmed with joy, forgives his son, proclaims him “found” and holds a celebration commemorating his return. Of course, the idea is that he was “found” spiritually; he had developed wisdom, the capacity to not just manage money, but life.

Now, after 2000 years, we have gone from Prodigal Son to prodigal sin, and I imagine that today the story might unfold quite differently. The son’s problem would probably be related via cell phone, be chalked up to a matter of money, and remedied not with character formation but cash flow.

For the rest of the story …..

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