Following Jesus is not easy. Really, it isn’t. In fact, it’s one of the most difficult things you will ever do. And it’s not because being a disciple of Christ is overly complicated. Actually, it’s pretty simple. All you have to do is follow him. Just because it’s simple, however, doesn’t make it easy.
What Does It Mean To Follow Jesus?
For many years, I thought that being a follower of Christ meant going to church on Sunday, knowing some Bible verses, identifying as a Christian and trying to be a decent person. Sure, that’s part of it, but there’s so much more. In today’s Gospel (Matthew 19:16-22), a young man approached Jesus and asked what he must do to gain eternal life. Jesus told him to keep the commandments. After some further clarification, the young man asked if there was anything else he lacked. The Lord’s answer was short and to the point:
Jesus said to him, “If you wish to be perfect, go, sell what you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.” (Matthew 19:21)
When the young man heard this statement, he went away sad, for he had many possessions. (Matthew 19:22)
Letting Go Is Hard
Without speaking a word, the young man perfectly sums up why following Jesus is so hard. It’s because we’re attached to that “one thing” and we don’t want to break free. Over the years, I’ve had a lot of “one things” – money, possessions, control, comfort, image, pride, etc. Letting go hasn’t been easy. I still work on it every day, but I wouldn’t have it any other way. When I actually manage to do it, the joy I get from truly following Jesus is greater than anything I get from my earthly attachments.
What’s Your “One Thing”?
We all have that “one thing” that keeps us from truly following Jesus. Are you willing to break free, leave it behind and follow him?