In the Gospel there is the bit where the wealthy man approaches Jesus and asks him what he must do to gain eternal life.
Jesus responds in part that he must give up everything owns and follow him. But the man walks away sad because he was wealthy and remained enslaved to his wealth.
I would like to think that Jesus wasn’t just telling him that he must give up all his gold.
There is much wealth we possess that we must get rid of. Like Gold this kind of wealth is also transient and not long-lasting. The riches I speak of here are Self Esteem/egoism, approval and the need to feel loved by others.
This is actually much harder to give up than wealth.
Take a look at the current case in the united states with Kathy Griffin, a small time comedian whose made a career for herself but it’s now shattered due to the nature of her most recent stunt.
Now, instead of humbling herself she is playing a victim. But what were the intentions behind her actions? She wanted to be ”provocative” like most celebrities do such as Madonna and Miley Cyrus in order to ”further” their career.
Kathy is a prime example of someone who goes fishing for ”likes” and appraisal by the world because she feels like most of us that without it, we cannot survive the emotional roller coaster in life.
Unfortunately for Kathy, instead of getting the pat on the back she was expecting for a job well done, even her own liberal kind turned on her in the end for going a step too far.
This pat on the back we crave it don’t we? Without it life just isn’t worth living. We are enslaved and held captive by none other than ourselves. We throw ourselves into this prison of Egoism, Vanity and the need to feel approval or loved by others.
It is us to create a prison for ourselves and when it’s been brought to our attention we play the blame game such as Kathy did live on television, surrounded by her laughing lawyer who laughs with her all the way to the ”bank”.
Kathy is a reflection of the sickly world, a reflection of me and you. We need to pray for that woman because it’s obvious the Lord has humbled her and in his merciful justice tries to do the same with all of us that we may return but our hearts are so stubborn.
So if we want eternal life get rid of all the wealth might be a good idea, but what about the hidden treasure we refuse to let go of, the kind that we need no matter what our financial status is? That’s the treasure Jesus requires we forfeit in exchange for the true treasure which is knowing and Loving God.