I Have To Give Everything?

“Amen, I say to you, it will be hard for one who is rich
to enter the Kingdom of heaven. Again I say to you,
it is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle
than for one who is rich to enter the Kingdom of God.”

“And everyone who has given up houses or brothers or sisters
or father or mother or children or lands
for the sake of my name will receive a hundred times more,
and will inherit eternal life.”

Jesus’ words are beautiful. Poetic. Appealing to the romantic in me:

“Deny everything and everyone for my sake.”

Nothing can compete with God’s love in order for us to have it entirely. But that’s like any relationship. If composing these reflections becomes more important than giving my fiancé my attention, then the relationship will suffer. So too is it with Christ; if we are preoccupied by anything more than His will, then the relationship will suffer.

This is a constant battle to fight. I wish it wasn’t. I wish that when we were baptized, any and all duplicity and concupiscence (the tendency to sin) were just decimated and Jesus would be like,

“Ok, you’re all set, dude. Now, just be cool for the rest of your time on earth and when you’re time’s up there, I got a sweet spot for you up here.”

But no.

Everyday, we have to choose Him over everything and everyone else. There can be landmark moments in our lives when we truly decided to put Christ before everything and everyone else, i.e. quitting a job, selling or giving away possessions. But everyday afterwards, we have to choose to not be ruled by them.

“You posses your possessions or they posses you.”

-Jon Foreman of Switchfoot in the song “If The House Burns Down Tonight”

We can be destitute and still have the handicap of a rich man: his preoccupation with wealth. Being preoccupied with wealth isn’t the only trap we can fall into. Power, honor and pleasure can also keep us preoccupied from pursuing God’s will. But none are as satisfying, as fulfilling, as lasting as denying ourselves and being obedient to God.

Fight the good fight.

Pursue God at the price of everything.

Live to the full.

During the week, Matthew Juliano is a mentor for individuals who have developmental and intellectual disabilities. On the weekends, he is a drummer for Full Armor Band. You can find more content by Matt and his band at www.fullarmorband.com.