A friend of mine, who is currently doing mission service in Romania, posed these questions in his last update: Would you give your entire 401k if you knew it would ensure one person’s salvation? Most of us, I’m fairly certain, think we would say yes. But consider this: Would you give your entire retirement savings if there were only a SLIM chance of ensuring another’s salvation?
I’ve never been a big fan of these “hypothetical ultimatums,” since they’re generally absurd and have little practical application, but this one really got me thinking. I guess because, well, I don’t know if I would.
All of my retirement money?
And it doesn’t even guarantee their salvation? Sounds like a risky bet to me.
What does this reveal about what I view as important? I know that salvation in Jesus is the absolute utmost priority, but now I wonder…….would I be willing to give it all up for only “the possibility” of someone’s salvation?
Jesus says this to a man who desires to have eternal life: If you want to be perfect, go, sell your possessions and give to the poor and you will have treasure in Heaven. Then, come follow me (Matt 19:21). But the man was unable to do it. He went away grieving because he had great wealth. I can just picture him hanging his head, walking away from Jesus thinking, I have not murdered, I have not stolen, I haven’t committed adultery, I have honored my parents, my testimonies have been true. But my land and my money? Anything but that, please God, not that.
Similar to how the hypothetic statement above exposed something about how importantly I view another’s salvation, this command Jesus gave the rich man exposed where he put his security. Jesus knew this man was willing, but he saw that there was something blocking his full commitment, and in typical Jesus fashion, He exposed it. He shows us that it can only take one thing to block a full relationship with God.
I don’t believe that Jesus is asking us to think of hypothetical scenarios where we can surely answer every one “yes, absolutely, no question.” That would be silly, and more importantly, it puts the focus on the wrong thing. The question isn’t, what are we willing to give up? The question is, how fully are we willing to trust God?
Please join me in praying:
Dear God, is there something in my life that is blocking me from having complete freedom in Christ Jesus? Please, expose an area of my life to me where I have not fully invited you in and help me to trust in you completely.
~ Kristin VanZanten