A Prodigal Son's Realization

A real-life prodigal son radically changes his ways, with his family's and God's help.

By G.M., 9th grader

Categories: Guidance, Loving and Forgiving

The Bible is the best medicine for any problem -- drug use, alcoholism, relationships, career decisions -- anything else that challenges you in your day-to-day life. Teachings in the Holy Bible guide human beings to a better understanding of life, helping us establish moral values. It's been said that the Bible is "Basic Instructions Before Leaving Earth." This makes it a very powerful weapon in the arsenal of good.

If any one understands the power of the Bible to change people, it would have to be a close family member of mine. Over the course of his life, he has made some devastatingly bad decisions. This included drug-related activities. During this period in his life, I once asked him, "Why do you do it?" He responded, "I don't do it because I think it's cool; I just do it for the money and what it can buy me."

Well, as time went on, his involvement in drugs became worse for him. He started having trouble with the police and began losing his credibility with everyone around him, including family members. He always figured his friends would be there for him, but he never thought that the only reason they were his friends was because of what he could get for them. In truth, the only people who were really there for him and cared about his welfare were his family. Unfortunately, he pushed them away every chance he could. During all of this, he and I grew farther and farther apart. I didn't even know who he was any more.

At the height of his "game," he said he made somewhere around one hundred to one hundred and fifty thousand dollars. He had money, a somewhat famous status to a certain group, expensive designer clothes and shoes. He was living life in the fast lane. But one thing he didn't realize is that this kind of lifestyle never lasts; it can't because it's not based on good, sound, moral thinking or acting. 

I think he started to make some important realizations when we kicked him out of the house, and he suddenly had to pay for everything on top of finding a place to sleep at night. Then, all of his money started to disappear when the cops got more and more interested in him. And all of his so-called friends abandoned him.

After about five months, we let him back in the house. He had lost almost everything he had -- all his money and most of the things he bought with that money. It's kind of like the story of the Prodigal Son (Luke 15:11-32). All that was left was his family.

So he started going to church. At first he would try to ignore what he was hearing there, but the more he went, the more he started to realize he needed to change his ways pretty quick or he could end up severely hurt, in jail, or worse.

When he turned nineteen, he got his life back together, and after five years in high school, he finally graduated. Then he moved into his own apartment and started going to community college. Today, he is completely changed. His old ways are gone. He is now what you would call a valued member of society. And I am very grateful.