What is your attitude towards possession?
‘Looking at the man, Jesus felt genuine love for him. There is still one thing you haven’t done,’ he told him. ‘Go and sell all your possessions and give the money to the poor and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me. At this, the man’s face fell and he went away sad, for he had many possessions,’ Mark 10v21-22.
Mark, the gospel writer, recorded the encounter between Jesus and the young rich ruler. Because of its importance, Matthew and Luke also recorded the story, too; See Matt. 19:16-30, Lk 18:18-30. The import of this story is to elicit a great response and followership to the Lord Jesus Christ.
However, the Bible noted that: ‘Jesus looking at this rich young ruler loved him but He expected him to deal with his attitude towards possession.’ His immediate reaction showed that he was not willing to part with any of his possession, for at the words of Jesus, the man’s face fell and he went away sad, for he had many possessions. Yes, he may have felt that Jesus overstepped His bound by asking him to go and sell his possession.
But child of God, what does your money mean to you? Although Jesus wanted this man to sell everything and give his money to the poor, this does not mean that all believers should sell all their possessions. Most of His followers did not sell everything, although they used their possessions to serve others, read Acts 4v32. Instead, this incident shows us that we must not let our possessions or money keep us from following Jesus. We must remove all barriers to serving Him fully. If Jesus asked, would you give up your house, car, income or ladder of promotion? Your reaction may show your attitude toward money — whether it is your servant or master.
Expectedly, our possession should not control us; rather it should serve us. It is to help us serve our Creator, as every good and perfect gift comes from Him. It is unfortunate that today many children of God have fallen to the grip of worldly possession. They do not consider relationships. What they think about more is nothing but these things that are ephemeral. No doubt, the more we allow the thought of these things to control us, the more it becomes difficult for us to follow Christ.
I think the time has come for God’s people to earnestly think of their mission on this part of the world. God created us and He desires good for us, but where we allow His goodness to be trampled upon because of our obsession for worldly things, then it becomes serious. In case you discover any one in the grip of material things of this world, please do not hesitate to let him/her know that doing God’s will and following Him should be uppermost in our minds. By God’s grace, we should not allow ourselves, whether we are Clergy or lay, to be slaves to things of this world.
Ven. Ernest Onuoha
Rector, Ibru International Ecumenical Centre,
Agbarha-Otor, Delta State.
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