This is how I protect my heart against the temptation to compete, to be envious, or jealous. It’s even to protect my heart from thinking I am not good enough.
I think about the rich young ruler (Matthew 19:16-26), a lot. I think his story is one that haunts a lot of us. But I have learned so much from him, and for that I am grateful.
Just today I was thinking about how Jesus asked him to sell all his possessions and give the money to the poor, THEN go and follow Jesus.
It’s amazing, the very things he was accumulating to show his value and worth Jesus wanted nothing to do with it.
Jesus just wanted the rich young ruler to follow him.
Let’s point out the three things this boy was:
- He was young.
- He was rich.
- He was a leader.
The rich young ruler had a lot of things, and he was a pretty decent kid. His life probably looked pretty Holy and pure. So what was his deal? Why did he feel like he had to do something even more in order to have the kingdom of heaven?
Jesus says the Kingdom of heaven is like yeast permeating dough, or a mustard seed. The kingdom of heaven is pretty small. I think the rich young ruler had to learn how to guard his heart against the lie that he could be big, like God.
I wrote in Worship is this. That just because we are small that doesn’t mean we are insignificant to God.
The thing is, we are all small.
I know it’s easy to look at a room with thousands of people in it, or maybe even look at a mansion, and think WOW that’s really big and important. Then you look at your house, your audience, and think WOW look how small I am.
But if we looked at that same room of thousands of people, and we counted all the “numbers” of whatever we are counting, and put that up next to, Oh I don’t know, THE SUN or THE UNIVERSE, then I think we would realize that everything is small.
That’s just one more thing that I love about God. When we start comparing ourselves, our mission, our numbers, our influence to someone else’s and we think that maybe God is disappointed in us because we are so small, He just rips that veil off our face. Our eyes become focused, and we begin to realize how small everyone in this world is. Then our hearts become humble.
This isn’t meant to discourage anyone. Please, keep doing what you are doing for the Lord.
But please, don’t give up because someone has more than you, because nobody has more than God.
The Lord is a just God, and it wouldn’t be fair to compare your fruit with someone else’s fruit. I believe success isn’t defined by numbers, but instead it is defined by obedience.
In Matthew 25:15 it says that each man received a different amount of gold according to his ability. God doesn’t give us two bags of gold, and the next person four bags of gold, and expect us BOTH to produce 8 bags of gold. If you keep reading further into this scripture you will see that God just wants us to use our abilities and what he has given us in order to produce more and further His kingdom. He does not want us to bury them in the ground, like the one who had the least amount of gold did. This is wasteful and a lack of obedience.
We might make mistakes, but those just help drive us forward in the process. Praise God that everything is small, and everything matters.
Our faith begins with what we know and believe about God. Our faith will carry us how far we are willing to let it take us. Faith is a choice and we need to begin by choosing to believe in Jesus and His power to move mountains, heal the sick, and save us from all our sins through His sacrifice on the cross.