DEVOTIONAL. Do you give enough? I feel I don’t whenever I read the passage in the gospel of Matthew about the rich young man, as if I am rich, which I am not.
Saint Francis of Assisi took the passage literally and lived a life of poverty. Isn’t the writer’s life the same? A vow of poverty to write. Not that I am in that boat at all…
Does Matthew 19:16-30 screw me up? In that I should do more. Possess less and give more? I consulted Bruce’s commentary for insight and my worries subsided – the passage is indeed a call to closer devotion to God but is directed at a certain person, the rich young man. My case settled; it seems. I am too old to qualify, anyhow…The passage according to Bruce is not a call to perfection either.
Yet I had an original thought through all this. Of the commandments Jesus mentioned in the passage, one is missing – thou shall not covet – and covetousness was the heart condition of the rich young man. He couldn’t let go and give up whatever was holding him back from devoting himself to God. He secretly preferred the comforts of possessing rather than being empty and receive from God.
Sometimes, life empties one anyway. And what does one do to fill that? One can look inward, but at the end of one’s tether, one can also look up and receive from God.
A vow of poverty to write, but one must be filled with something that motivates the writing. God can fill. We need ministers about God, rather than brands and businesses that shape and form a message based on that brand and business. A selfless desire to bring more of God rather than shape the message a certain brandish way. So, whoever would do this, would need more of God—to give more of God. And seeking and following Jesus is certainly the way to have more of God and starts with a step towards him.