(Photo: Harvest Ministries)
Whoever of you does not forsake all that he has cannot be My disciple.
- Luke 14:33
It was George Bernard Shaw who said, "There are two sources of unhappiness in life. One is not getting what you want; the other is getting it."
This statement reminds me of the account in Matthew 19 of the rich young ruler who came to Jesus seeking answers. Here was a man who, of all men, should have been content and fulfilled. He had great influence and affluence. Yet in spite of all his accomplishments, there was something missing in his life. He asked, "Good Teacher, what good thing shall I do that I may have eternal life?"
Jesus told him, "If you want to enter into life, keep the commandments." Jesus was not implying that by keeping the Ten Commandments, a person would be saved. Rather, Jesus held the Ten Commandments up as a mirror to show this man his sin.
The ruler replied, "All these things I have kept from my youth. What do I still lack?"
I think Jesus probably smiled at this. He saw what this man was really all about. So He took it up a notch and said, "If you want to be perfect, go, sell what you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me."
Jesus knew the problem with this young ruler was that possessions had possessed his soul. But Jesus just as easily could have said something completely different to someone else. What is really holding someone back from Christ and from further spiritual progress can vary from person to person.
We would do well to come before Jesus and ask, "Lord, is there anything in my life that is getting in the way of my relationship with You?"