We all have a propensity to be younger brother-ish in the way we approach responsibility, sometimes.
But other times, we have a different problem when it comes to responsibility.
We tend towards being over-responsible.
We want to live up to and even exceed every expectation put on us. We never want to disappoint others and are perpetually looking to please those who we look up to. We play by “the rules” and never step out of line.
We’re dutiful and obedient to a fault.
But here’s the thing.
Eventually we start keeping score about our responsibility.
And if it looks like they’re getting ahead and we aren’t?
Well…a tiny, tiny seed of envy and resentment starts to sprout. But even the tiniest seed can grow into a field of bitterness.
Before long, all we see are the ways we’ve stepped up and they haven’t.
And before we know it, we’re lost in self-imposed exile of bitterness, just like the elder brother did in today’s scripture passage.