Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Do you know what YOUR problem is?

Don’t you think that phrase is a loving, gracious way to start a conversation? You should try it next time you meet someone new at a social gathering. Of course, depending on the crowd with which you run, you could end up with caviar in your cummerbund, or barbeque-wiener-encrusted toothpicks stuck in your forehead.
Why is that? Well - for starters, we don’t like to think about or concentrate much on our own shortcomings or “problems.” And secondly, we certainly don’t like to have them pointed out by someone else.
We like to think that we can keep our “problems” hidden and that if we do enough ‘other stuff,’ no one will notice those “problems” or call attention to them. And that’s nothing new - we’ve been doing that for centuries.
In Luke 18:20-23, we see a story where a man asked Jesus what he needed to do to make it into heaven. Jesus told him:
“[Y]ou know the commandments: ‘You must not commit adultery. You must not murder. You must not steal. You must not testify falsely. Honor your father and mother.’”
The man replied, “I’ve obeyed all these commandments since I was young.”
When Jesus heard his answer, he said, “There is still one thing you haven’t done. Sell all your possessions and give the money to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.”
But when the man heard this he became very sad, for he was very rich.
Jesus didn’t tell this man that he couldn’t go to heaven because he was rich. No – Jesus observed a man who looked “good” on the outside, and then He pointed out to him: “Do you know what your problem is?”
And yes, the man knew what his problem was. He knew that he placed his wealth above his devotion to his God. And he wasn’t willing to change. Now that’s a problem.
What about you – do you know what your problem is? What are you letting come between you and total devotion to Jesus?
He will certainly point it out to you if you ask Him. But don’t ask if you don’t want to know and don’t ask if you don’t plan to change. Otherwise, you too may become “very sad.”
Being a Christ follower is an ‘all-or-nothing’ proposition. There is no middle ground. Is there ‘something’ that is keeping you from being totally committed?
Because you look ‘good’ on the outside, other people may not know. But He does.
Do you know what your problem is?

Craig Hollingsworth

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