- Bible Reading: Mark 10:17-31
- Focus Scripture Mark 10:22
Words of the Day
- Insight– the capacity to gain an accurate and deep intuitive understanding of a person or thing.
- Knowledge– the capacity to gain an accurate and deep intuitive understanding of a person or thing.
- Discretion– the quality of behaving or speaking in such a way as to avoid causing offense or revealing private information.
When I was a child I read lots of Aesop Fables and had just as many read to me. They were truths explained in a way I could digest it. 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 we’ve treated a person well only to have them continue to take advantage of our kindness. Proverbs 2:9-10 “Then you will understand righteousness and justice and uprightness, every good course, for wisdom will enter your heart and knowledge will be pleasing to your soul.”
Is there a person in your life that you struggle to have a relationship with? It could be a relative, friend, or even a spouse. Now while you think about that relationship I want you to ponder why bonding with that person is so difficult. Competition, pride, greed, envy, selfish ambition…it is the tension that keeps us from wisdom. We can not love if we are in competition with each other. Does that mean all competition is bad? 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 each other grows our wisdom. With God, our love does not have to become bitterness or competition. 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. Giving releases the grip that keeps us from completely loving; the unconditional agape love; the sincere heart of wanting others to succeed. 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 would have 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. Letting someone get ahead of us and not stepping on their coat-tail to hold them back. Being honest with God and ourselves when we need help. 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 ask God to deliver us from. God holds nothing back from us so why can’t we let go when God prompts us to? I believe that our spiritual growth comes from not getting attached to people or possessions.
Who do you struggle to have a relationship with? Is it God?
- Do my possessions make me feel complete, accomplished or loved?
- What do I own that has sentimental value and could not possibly let go of?
- What is my ambition?