October 9

Mark 10:17-22

“Jesus, looking at him, loved him and said, ‘You lack one thing; go, sell what you own, and give the money to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; then come, follow me.’’ vs. 21

The man was at a crisis point, and probably surprised to find himself there. He’d lived a good life, exemplary even, and had reaped the blessings of hard work and enterprise. He was likely envied by most of his peers–yet something just wasn’t right, and he was plagued by a sense of uneasiness. So he asked Jesus a question, “What must I do to inherit eternal life?”, and got a religious answer, “Obey the commandments!” At that point he likely began to breathe a bit easier–he’d done that for his entire life. If that was the requirement he had nothing to worry about. And then Jesus crushed his spirit, “Sell what you have, and give the money to the poor!” Oops! As good as he was, he couldn’t part with his wealth. So he went sadly away–and we can’t blame him. That’s what most of us would have done too! Of all the things we’re called on to do as we follow Jesus, everything else is child’s play when compared to the challenge of giving our money away. We don’t even like to give in support of budgetary needs in our congregations and we groan when pastors talk about making financial commitments. But Jesus regularly talked about money! He knew that nothing reveals the state of our souls more vividly than reckless generosity.

Thought for the Day: Why is it so hard to be generous?

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