Today’s reading: Luke 18:18-30
Yesterday Jesus called a bunch of poor, tired fisherman to come follow Him, and they dropped everything. Today Jesus gives the same offer to a rich man, but the rich man walks away sad – He doesn’t know how to let go of his wealth.
It’s important to understand that most of us are the rich man in this story. By being born in America we are in the wealthiest 5% of all humans (and probably higher). Most of us, even when things are tough, don’t worry about where food will come from tomorrow. We are – comparatively – comfortable.
The problem is that comfort and following Christ don’t mix. Jesus cares for the poor, He spends time with the unwanted, and He’s not concerned – not even a little – about financial security. To follow Jesus doesn’t mean giving away all your money – but it does mean realizing the money isn’t yours. Following Jesus doesn’t necessarily mean surrendering your career path or life goals – but it does mean holding them up to God and saying “do what you want with them.”
The rich ruler’s problem in this story is not that he’s wealthy, but that he’s practicing a comfortable version of spirituality where he follows most of the rules, and in turn expects God to bless his life. But he knows something is missing, so he comes to Jesus saying “what else do I need to do?” And in response Jesus says “stop thinking you can barter with God or only give him part of your life. Let go of control and come follow me.”
Is there an area of your life – a relationship, a life goal, a destructive habit, or a safety blanket – you don’t want to give to Jesus? If so, realizing that is a huge first step. While the process of letting go takes a long time, start today by praying something like this: “Jesus, I don’t know how to let go of this area of my life, but I want to learn. As best as I know how I give this to you.”
Want More? re-read Luke 18:29-30. When you struggle to let go, return to this promise.
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