“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." Matthew 19:21
One of the greatest points of pain rises from the question, “ are you living a life of poverty?”
Matthew 19:21 is a source of tension to anyone who believes they must live a life of poverty to be spiritually perfected.
The tension and stress risers in the mind of believers when they reflect on thier own prosperity, or their desire for prosperity,r and the words of Jesus and this verse.
Some lead they have to make a choice between poverty and a prosperous life.
Choosing Jesus, which believers know to be the right choice, over material possessions and wealth has caused anguish to innumerable Christians.
The stress is compounded when preachers teach that “it’s easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of God." Matthew 19:24
The stress and pain I've encountered in my conversations with people over this topic is the most widespread.
The conflict causes fights, disagreements, and even anger within the church.
So let's clarify this point of contention.
First, material possessions and wealth means nothing to God. God cares about one thing only, your heart.
God doesn't care how much money or possessions are around you.
God only cares about the purity and sincerity of your heart.
If you love God and live to the benefit of others you are in good standing with God. This kind of selfless life is a service to God and centered on love.
The Bible also states that God is love. If we live a life of love for God and others we embody God.
Additionally, the Bible also tells us that everything is possible with God. So if we embody God through our love for him and others then it is possible to go to the kingdom.
Now I want to make a critical distinction in the heart.
In my many years of listening to Christians I came across a man who was very poor but had a great deal of envy and desire for material possessions.
This man's mind would constantly veer toward the lack of material possessions.
I believe you can see the difference between a poor man who desires material possession and a rich man who lives for God and others.
Here's a lesson.
To take scripture and legalistically apply it to ourselves causes more pain and harm than good.
When reading scripture we must look at surrounding verse for clarification and then we must ponder on God's view of us.
By using this technique we can understand that God can forgive the believer who greedily desires material possession in his poverty.
The second thing that you can learn from this lesson is that the best principal you can practice in life is love. No matter how rich or poor you are, or how many goals you may have, if you embody love you and embody God.
Consistently practicing love will always guide you the right way.
So practice love every minute of every day. I'll see you in the Kingdom.