“’Teacher, what good thing must I do to get eternal life?’ . . . Jesus replied, ‘If you want to enter life, keep the commandments.’…. ‘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.’”Matthew 19:16-22
Have you ever been asked to relinquish something you treasured dearly? As a youngster, immigrating to Canada, I had the unavoidable task of choosing what personal possessions to leave behind. Our family’s belongings had to fit a small shipping. Reluctantly and agonizingly, I confronted the crucible of choice — selecting, surrendering, and submitting to this unsolicited predicament.
In Matthew 19, Jesus encounters a man inquiring about eternal life. On the surface, the man’s reply indicates that he has met the criteria for righteousness, but Jesus discerns that the man’s possessions are an obstacle preventing him from fully following Him. So Jesus asks him to surrender the obstacle.
Jesus doesn’t plea bargain for the man’s heart because He knows that “… where [his] treasure is, there [his] heart will be also.” In a life-changing moment, the man confronts the crucible of choice — assessing the value of his possessions. Regrettably, he concludes that his possessions are non-negotiable and he rejects Jesus’ proposal.
Are you willing to relinquish anything preventing you from experiencing deeper intimacy with Jesus? Ideally, as Christ followers, we should surrender anything that hinders relational intimacy with God. Daily, every believer must confront the crucible of choice, and re-evaluate his or her treasures. Jesus knows surrender and submission are heart conditions and decisions. They are the unavoidable and non-negotiable cost of fully following Jesus.
Lord, create in me a transparent heart. Help me to reevaluate my heart’s treasures — discerning if there is anything in my life that hinders relational intimacy with you. Empower me with the resolve to choose wisely when I confront choice and to daily surrender my heart to your word and will. Amen.