But when he heard this, he became very sorrowful, for he was very rich. Luke 18:22-23 NKJV
You’re probably familiar with the story of the rich, young ruler.
He’s pretty sure he’s on the right track and he just needs Jesus to confirm that for him so he can go on and live a long happy life.
We read that story and think, “What a chump! How could you choose hanging on to your money over following Jesus?” Then we close our Bibles and walk away feeling as smug as the rich, young ruler expected to.
But stay in that kid’s shoes for a moment longer…
What if Jesus hadn’t said, ‘sell your stuff’?
What if he’d said, Let go of your agenda.
Or, Give up those goals you have.
Hand over those career plans.
You have to forfeit your comfort, and your routine.
All those things that make you feel secure …
“Give Me their spot in your life, in your heart, in your thoughts.”
What if, instead of the Rich Young Ruler, it was the story of the Diehard Sports Fan, or the Career-Minded Go-Getter or the Overscheduled Mom … or someone else who’s a little more familiar?
Suddenly, the circumstances become much more extenuating. The commitment becomes more costly. Opting out becomes much more rational.
When I think of it like that, I don’t walk away from that story feeling so smug anymore.