What Do You Value Most?
I like to think that I’m a generous person. I donate my time, talents, and treasures to a number of different organizations. But the gospel reading this Sunday is challenging. If Jesus told me to sell what I have, give it to the poor and then follow him, what would I really do?
In a sense, Jesus truly does ask us to give up our possessions when we choose to follow him. As Christians, our material goods must be lowered in importance, to the point where our decisions are not based upon them.
Especially in America, our obsession with possessions must cease. The only time we should “keep up with the Jones’s” is when Mr. Jones and his family exemplify stewardship and truly live the gospel message. When we focus our energy on getting that new boat, buying that sports car, or owning that 5,000 square foot estate, what are we really worshiping?
In the first reading, we hear about the value of wisdom. What other “values” are important to us? Integrity? Honesty? Compassion?
If integrity is important to me, am I willing to give it up in order to land that big promotion so I can get that boat or car or house? If I am unwilling to give up my integrity, what would I be willing to give up? A little honesty? Some compassion? How about a big chunk of “family time”? Or maybe Church on Sunday?
We must be very careful. It’s easy to say we won’t compromise our “principles”. But it’s even easier to let them slowly erode, bit by bit. Things like integrity, honesty and compassion are called “values” because they’re valuable! We need to keep reminding ourselves of that and check once in a while to make sure that we’re still sticking to them.
I Want It NOW
When Jesus asks us to give up our obsession with possessions, he offers us great treasures in heaven instead. The problem is that heaven seems so far away. In this time of almost instant gratification, we don’t want to wait. We want our treasure now.
As Christians, we need to recognize that the reward we receive immediately may be nothing more than inner warmth after helping someone, or a feeling of peace when we’ve done the right thing. But if we do our best to follow Jesus, God can make it possible for us to enter the Kingdom of Heaven and live with Him forever.
I think that beats a big house, but that’s just me. What do you value most?
If you could buy any one single thing, what would it be and why?
How often do you worry about money?
How often do you worry about your soul?
Copyright 2003-2018 by Brandon Jubar
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