Last night I read the story of the guy who came up to Jesus and said, “What do I have to do to be saved?” (Mark 10)
He was a really good guy and had his life together. He seems to have been a devout church goer, was good to people, had probably worked hard and was now wealthy. He was a model citizen and probably his parents’ favorite kid. He had earned himself and his family a comfortable life.
Lately I’ve been asking myself what is the difference between a true Christian and just a good person, like this guy. Well, we know that Jesus tells him to give everything away. And the man can’t do it.
And I think this is a difference. God doesn’t promise us wealth. But he does promise us, if we truly obey him, to rake our heart through meat grinders, melt it in furnaces, form it into something new, separate off the dross and impurities, whatever is needed to make it into a more humble, kind, truth-filled, obedient, stronger, refined and disciplined creation. I like the way C.S. Lewis says it: A camel can make it through the eye of a needle. It’s just very hard on the camel.
A good example is Job who had everything stripped away until the devotion of his heart could be proven as a shining example of love, trust, beauty, and surrender for every generation after.
Maybe God is willing to put us through this because he knows that nothing, besides the heart that we have, can we take with us into heaven. And in that way if giving away our worldly riches purifies our hearts, he will take all our worldly worth and exchange it for real, everlasting riches to be enjoyed in a more beautiful eternal kingdom.