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What would you be saddest to give up?

June 30, 2023
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Daily Scripture

Mark 10:17-22

17 As Jesus continued down the road, a man ran up, knelt before him, and asked, “Good Teacher, what must I do to obtain eternal life?”
18 Jesus replied, “Why do you call me good? No one is good except the one God. 19 You know the commandments: Don’t commit murder. Don’t commit adultery. Don’t steal. Don’t give false testimony. Don’t cheat. Honor your father and mother.” [Exodus 20:12-16; Deuteronomy 5:16-20]
20 “Teacher,” he responded, “I’ve kept all of these things since I was a boy.”
21 Jesus looked at him carefully and loved him. He said, “You are lacking one thing. Go, sell what you own, and give the money to the poor. Then you will have treasure in heaven. And come, follow me.” 22 But the man was dismayed at this statement and went away saddened, because he had many possessions.

Daily Reflection & Prayer

An apparently earnest young man asked Jesus what he needed to do to obtain eternal life. As Jesus “looked at him carefully and loved him,” he identified the man’s fixation on wealth as his main spiritual obstacle. The text doesn’t say how Jesus “saw” that. Maybe it was the man’s tailored robes, or the kind of chariot he drove. Whatever it was, the man went away sad, unwilling and unable to reset his priorities. It didn’t seem to take him long to decide that he didn’t want eternal life THAT much.

  • Jesus’ words in verse 21 were personal for that particular young man, not a specific command intended to apply to all Christians. (Remember that God did NOT tell every affluent person in the Bible to sell all they had—e.g. Abraham in Genesis, Zacchaeus in Luke 19.) What was the heart issue Jesus tried to get the young man to face up to?
  • Jesus’ startling words to the young man weren’t a general command. Still, the young man’s response poses for each of us the hard question, “Which possessions (if any) do I value so much that I’d choose them over following Jesus?” We know the young man turned away from the “treasure in heaven” Jesus offered. If Jesus asked you to give up, not everything, but maybe your biggest material treasure, how would you answer?
Prayer

Lord Jesus, you offer me heaven’s riches. Give me a heart that can accurately assess the treasure of your kingdom, valuing it properly against any other claims. Amen.

GPS Insights

Kaitlin Green

Kaitlin Green

Kaitlin Green is a sophomore at the University of Missouri studying Journalism with an emphasis in Writing and Reporting. At Mizzou, Kaitlin is a member of the Honors College and is on the Golden Girls dance team. This summer, she is working as a public relations intern at Resurrection and teaches dance at her old studio. In her free time, Kaitlin is an avid reader and loves spending time outdoors.

One of my biggest treasures in life is dance. As someone who has spent the past 16 years dancing and has no intentions of stopping once I graduate college, it seems almost impossible for me to imagine my life without it — I’ve put so much time and effort into my craft that it would break my heart to stop. Not only do I love it for keeping me in shape, but I cherish it because it gives me an outlet to relieve stress and spend time with friends. Honestly, I sometimes find myself wondering who I am, or who I would have become, without dance.

While it might not be dance specifically (and if it is, let’s chat!), each one of us has something that we cherish beyond compare. To some, it is financial resources, but to many others it is hobbies and passions. When we have such a strong connection to something, it can be very easy for us to find ourselves putting it above and in-front our faith. The demands of work, school, family, and a whole host of other obligations limits our time as it is, and so when we finally have free time, it can be very easy to devote all of our time towards what makes us happy and neglect our time with God. Life, very soon, becomes unimaginable without it.

I’m not saying that we are not allowed to spend our time doing things that bring us joy; in fact, I encourage you to carve out time in your day to intentionally do something to make you happy! What I am saying is that it is essential to remember that the things we cherish are intentional blessings from God. He provides us with opportunities and talents with the intention that we honor Him through them, whether that means we use it to evangelize or simply exude the light of Christ. And these blessings, no matter how large or spectacular, are never meant to overshadow God and our relationship with Him.

In most cases, God is not telling us to directly give up what brings us joy or to stop doing what we’re talented at. Instead, He is calling us to use our gifts in order to bless the lives of others. Doing this allows us to keep our eyes turned towards Christ, even during the busiest days of our lives, and reminds us that we are called to give our talents to others in order to glorify God. After all, no matter how much we love or value our favorite thing, nothing can ever compare to God’s love and His treasures in heaven.

© 2024 Resurrection: A United Methodist Church. All Rights Reserved.
Scripture quotations are taken from The Common English Bible ©2011. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
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