Guiding Scripture: Mark 10:21 “Jesus looked at him and loved him. “One thing you lack,” he said. “Go, sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.”
Grasping at Shadows
by Torrie Slaughter
When I was a child, I read lots of Aesop Fables. They were truths explained in a way I could digest. Today I turned to one of my favorites which is the Dog and the Shadow. In this fable, the dog carried a large piece of meat in his mouth to take home to enjoy. As he crossed over a creek using a plank, he looked down and saw his reflection. The dog thought it to be another dog with a bigger piece of meat in his mouth. Deciding he wanted both; he snapped at the reflection losing his dinner in the process.
The moral “Beware lest you lose the substance by grasping at the shadow.”
The rich man wanted to know how to enter into the kingdom of Heaven. He thought he had followed all the commandments. However, his greed kept him from fulfilling the commandment to love. Loving people is so HARD!!! It is draining when you’ve treated a person well only to have them continue to take advantage of your kindness.
Mark 8:26 “For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world and forfeit his soul?”
Is there a person in your life that you struggle to have a relationship? It could be a relative, friend, or even a spouse. While you think about that relationship, I want you to ponder why bonding with that person is so complicated.
Competition, pride, greed, envy, selfish ambition…it is the tension that keeps us from wisdom. We can not love if we compete with each other. Does that mean all competition is wrong? Well, no, it means that if our ambition keeps us from helping, or our envy makes us “unavailable,” or our greed claims” we didn’t know better,”; that type of competitiveness is evil.
The insightful knowledge of what we should do for the love of God and love for others grows our wisdom.
Jesus told the rich man that he needed to give up one more thing, his wealth. Giving is freeing. It keeps us from allowing objects to become our idols and releasing the grip that keeps us from loving.
If the dog had not tried to take what he thought was a larger portion, he would not have lost what he already had. If the rich man had let go of his earthly wealth, he would have opened treasure in Heaven and gained eternity with God our Father.
So what does that look like in our lives today? Sacrifice. By letting someone get ahead of us and not stepping on their coat tail to hold them back. God hears us and knows our struggles. We do not need to be afraid. Fearing we will lose out if we give. Giving of our time or our materials should not cause sorrow, and if it does, that is a red flag and something to take to the Lord in prayer.
God holds nothing back from us, so why can’t we let go when God prompts us? I believe that our spiritual growth comes from not getting attached to people or possessions. Don’t grasp at the temporary shadows.
The Bible In A Year Daily Reading Plan
Wednesday, March 1, 2023