The French theologian Simone Weil often wrote about the spiritual journey. Her favorite image for it was Jesus’ parable of the prodigal son. “It is only the prodigals,” she claimed, “who find themselves in the arms of the Father.” The elder brother, to whom the father says, “You have always been with me,” undergoes no religious experience.
Weil goes on to argue that it is very dangerous to our spiritual well-being to live too carefully. We live too carefully when we assure ourselves that, like the elder brother, we have always stayed with the Father. None of us possesses God. He finds us periodically, and those moments of encounter are authentic religious experiences. But all who really want to know God have to come to him as prodigals.
Although we are assured of our salvation in Jesus Christ, the Christian experience is full of opportunities to discover just how desperately we need that salvation. Actually, that is the good news. If the prodigal had lived economically, he would have never found his way home to the father. The constant reminders of how far we have roamed from God make us all the more ready to receive God’s grace—which, of course, is the only way to get back home. (Barnes, Yearning, pp.103-4, emphasis mine)
**Barnes/Weil is not suggesting we sin “so that grace may abound”.