Mathew 19:16-22, “16 Someone came to Jesus with this question: “Teacher, what good deed must I do to have eternal life?” 17 “Why ask me about what is good?” Jesus replied. “There is only One who is good. But to answer your question—if you want to receive eternal life, keep the commandments.” 18 “Which ones?” the man asked. And Jesus replied: “You must not murder. You must not commit adultery. You must not steal. You must not testify falsely. 19 Honor your father and mother. Love your neighbor as yourself.” 20 “I’ve obeyed all these commandments,” the young man replied. “What else must I do?” 21 Jesus told him, “If you want to be perfect, go and sell all your possessions and give the money to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.” 22 But when the young man heard this, he went away sad, for he had many possessions.”
It is so easy to fall into the trap of wanting to have stuff, the whole “Keeping up the Jones” has never been more real than today. Although it would be more realistic to call it
“Keeping up with the Kardashian’s”
We see that money and objects as rewards for doing well in life. You can find yourself getting lost in the idea that being successful means that you have expensive things, things that you place more value on than you do God. Jesus said, “”Foxes have dens and birds have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay his head” (Luke 9:58). So, just because you have an expensive home and with 1000 sheet tread count does not mean that you have made it… We are called to be like Christ and that is the only thing that will fill that void in our lives that we are trying to fill with useless goods (that will be out of date next week). Now I do not believe we are called to live in poverty (unless God tells you that directly) but I believe it is a matter of your heart. The rich young rules had a heart issue that Jesus was trying to help him with. Jesus did not tell everyone to sell all their stuff and follow Him but He did say you will have to sacrifice… “If anyone desires to follow me let him deny himself, take up his cross and follow me” (Matthew 16:24).
To many think that money will raise them high on the pyramid of life…
Many people are constantly seeking success, wealth, possessions, or perfection. Sometimes people assume that if they could achieve one of these then the others will follow. Desiring to be better, have better, or do better can drive many to extremes in their life. One day, while traveling along the coast of Judea, Jesus was approached by a young man seeking to know how eternal life could be achieved. The Lord spoke to him about how he should follow the commandments of God. The young man quickly replied, “I have done all this from my youth up!” Sensing the young man was looking for more, Jesus told him that if he wanted to be perfect, he should go and sell all his possessions, giving the proceeds to the poor, and then return to follow him. We all know how this story ends! Having achievements in life can be wonderful and fulfilling. But they do not perfect us and can many times create difficulty in our life. Allowing achievement to overshadow our relationships with our family and the Lord can become very costly. Perfection is found in the Lord, and success is found in balancing our desire for achievement with those things in life that are more important, such as our family. How do you find this balance in your life? Is there a time or season when achievement may be more important in an effort to provide more for your family?