I have always thought of myself as a “good son”—well, daughter, actually, but you know what I mean. I went to church every Sunday, attended the temple, paid my tithing, fulfilled my callings.  I’ve done a lifetime of good works, of “good son” activities.

But none of that conveyed to me the love of God.

I was doing those good works by my own industry and smart management. I had a performance and appearance-oriented mind set.

In other words, I was filled with pride. I was a prodigal.

It wasn’t until I realized my own weakness and tendency to sin—admitted my own ‘prodigalness’—that I truly found the love of God. I discovered that God is not “the guy with the stick.” In the face of my sins, He understands and He forgives. He loves me just as much in my weakness as He does in my strength.

I am beloved of God and have been from before I fell into mortality and acquired the wounds and defense mechanisms (addictions) that earth life brings. Even when I’m practicing my defense mechanisms, He knows that’s not the REAL me, the eternal me. He lovingly accepts where I am and gently leads me to a better path.

That doesn’t mean I just say, “Oh well, what the heck. He loves me no matter what,” and go off and do all the not-like-Him things I can do.

Why would I want to do that?

Christ has won me with His unfailing love. Having tasted of His mercy and His goodness, His patience and tender mercies for me, I will keep coming back to Him (repenting) as often as I need.

Additional Reading: Luke 15:11-32, the parable of the Prodigal Son.

~Colleen H.

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