The Rich Young Man
We've all heard the story of the
young rich man, who asks Jesus in these Scripture verses, "Good master, what
must I do to inherit eternal life?" Jesus tells him he must know the
commandments, to which the young man says that he does all of that. To that,
Jesus looked into the young man's heart with love and tells him, "There is one
thing you lack. Go and sell everything you own and give the money to the poor
..." The young man's face falls, and he went away sad because he was a very
In an earlier scripture writing on
this same topic, I showed how being wealthy wasn't a sin; but how you obtain the
wealth can be. In this reading, it's obvious that the young man had obtained his
wealth in a legitimate manner; since he told Jesus that he had obeyed all the
commandments. Since Jesus didn't call him on it or call him a liar, we
must assume that the young man was being honest in his remark.
What Jesus does ask is that the
young man give away his wealth. Now, Jesus didn't ask other wealthy men to do
this, other than His apostles. Why was it so important for this young man to
give his wealth away, since he didn't obtain it in a devious manner?
It's because the wealth was
more important to the young man than God and His Kingdom! Let me say this
again the young man loved his wealth, his things, his property and treasures
MORE THAN GOD!
There are many references in the
Bible to overdoing things: Proverbs 23:2; Proverbs 23:20-21; and Proverbs 28:7
all speak to the sin of gluttony. Galatians 5:23 says we need to have
self-control. Titus 2:12 says we should say "No" to ungodliness and worldly
passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives. Ecclesiastes
7:18 sums it up best with, "The man who fears God will avoid all extremes."
Otherwise, if we are living any
type of extreme, then we are putting that extreme before God in our lives. The
young rich man wasn't willing to give up his "first love" of wealth for God.
Take a quick inventory of your own life.
Are you putting something worldly before your love for God?
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