“What Are We Holding On To?”

By Zach Wood

Mankato Times

rich-ruler-could-not-let-go

Matthew 19:16-22 NIV

Just then a man came up to Jesus and asked, “Teacher, what good thing must I do to get eternal life?”  “Why do you ask me about what is good?” Jesus replied. “There is only One who is good. If you want to enter life, keep the commandments.”  “Which ones?” he inquired.  Jesus replied, “‘You shall not murder, you shall not commit adultery, you shall not steal, you shall not give false testimony, honor your father and mother,’ and ‘love your neighbor as yourself.’”  “All these I have kept,” the young man said. “What do I still lack?”  Jesus answered, “If you want to be perfect, go, sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.”  When the young man heard this, he went away sad, because he had great wealth.

 

I was thinking about this story the other day while reading a chapter in a book.  I was challenged in the chapter about how this wealthy man couldn’t let go of his possessions to be obedient to Christ.  As I’ve considered this story so many times through the years through bible studies and sermons, I’ve often wondered why he was so selfish and could not let go of these things he held on to so tightly.  He had so much and yet he turned away and didn’t follow Christ. 

As I’ve considered this story more, let’s hold off on raising our eyebrow at this guy.  Most of us are not wealthy I would guess.  I don’t think many of you own a mansion or have houses in several states or countries you frequently visit.  I’m sure most of you don’t have to split up your wealth between many banks because you have so much.  However, even though most of us aren’t wealthy, we are rich indeed.  We have many things.  

While we wouldn’t consider ourselves to be like this rich young man, ironically we are just like him in so many ways!  I thought the other day how much I am just like him.  I am not wealthy compared to people who are loaded with money, but I am rich compared to others who live with a lot less than I do.  As for possessions, I don’t think I have a lot, but when I look around at things I do have, I notice that I do have a lot of “things”.  These things can easily take away from my time with God and my allegiance to Him.  I am often times very distracted and finding myself filling time with other things than focused on Him. 

So, before I pass this rich young man off and raise my eyebrow at him, I need to realize I am so like him in so many ways because there are things that I find hard to let go of if He asked me to.  I want these things in my life and often find it hard to get away from them to focus on Him.  

How about the rest of you?  Do you have things in your life that you’d rather not let go of or get away from just to have some focused time on God?  If you think about it for a while, you will agree.  My question is…..what are we holding on to? 

Zach Wood is a graduate of Johnson Bible College (Johnson University) in Knoxville, TN.  He enjoys devotional writing, preaching, music ministry and computers.  He works at Corporate Graphics Commercial as a Client Support Assistant in North Mankato.  He lives in Eagle Lake with his wife and two girls.  Contact info: jbcg99@gmail.com.

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