I was reading Luke 18:18-30, this passage deals with a rich ruler that comes to Jesus and basically tells Jesus that he, the rich ruler, is sinless. He comes to Jesus talking about how he’s kept all the commandments since he was young, and he tells Jesus how he (the rich ruler) was basically a “good person.” How many times do we tell God and other people this everyday? How many times do we try to justify ourselves and tell ourselves that we are “basically good people?” How many times do we try to act like we have it all together, or like we don’t need prayer or repentance? However, do we also realize how much of a lie this is?
If we were “basically good people” we wouldn’t really need a savior. So why did God send Jesus? You know, if we are basically good people, then we don’t really need forgiveness. The only problem with this thinking is whose standard of good are we measuring ourselves up against? Are we measuring ourselves against our friends, our family, our co-workers? We like to use other people as our measuring stick, instead of God himself. God told us what the standard (10 commandments) was, so that we could (blatantly) see that we don’t measure up…and we will never completely measure up until Jesus comes back and gives us glorified bodies.
So that leads us to reevaluate the rich ruler…there is no way he was perfect, and Jesus knew it. So Jesus asks the man to sell everything he had and to follow Jesus (who was God in human flesh)! So basically God asks this man to give up everything and follow him…and the man left sad! This ruler couldn’t give up his “stuff” to follow the giver of the stuff! How crazy is that!? That’s like a hoarder of iPhones, Mac computers and Apple stuff, meeting the resurrected Steve Jobs (creator of apple products) and Steve Jobs saying okay give up all your stuff and come work for me as my personal assistant, and the Apple hoarder saying no thanks, I’ll just stick to my stuff. If you are working for Steve Jobs he’d probably give you all the stuff you had…plus more to accomplish your job assisting him!
Yet, we act like the rich ruler everyday (myself included). I have to repent of selfishness, pride, and self-righteousness every day. Sometimes we pride ourselves more on what we have, or what we do, or our title, or our accomplishments than on identifying ourselves with knowing The Almighty God.
I met a young guy the other day who wrapped himself up more in finding success than in knowing the God who is the giver of success. He had made success such an idol in his heart that he was willing to forsake God for the lesser idol of success. Let’s learn from the rich ruler, let’s turn from self righteousness and idolatry and turn back to God. I guarentee…that you will never regret it.
*By the way the featured picture has nothing to do with this post, but I just thought I’d post pictures of my new life here West Africa every now and then. And this picture with a live Crocodile is awesome right!?
Love you much! And God loves you so much more!