Mark 10:21-22 Jesus, looking at him, loved him and said, “You lack one thing; go, sell what you own, and give the money to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; then come, follow me.” When he heard this, he was shocked and went away grieving, for he had many possessions.

Do we own our possessions or do they own us?

Contrasted with his other calls to discipleship where Jesus simply says, “Come after me,” or “Follow me,” his call to the rich man to give up his wealth shocks us as much as it shocks the rich man. For two cultures where wealth is understood as a sign of God’s favor—both Jesus’ culture and our own—the command to relinquish wealth is a tall order. 

Jesus is not asking the rich man or us to embrace lives of poverty, nor merely commanding us to literally separate ourselves from material wealth, but rather to create a healthier relationship with material goods. This in turn will change our connection to the poor, once we have learned to share. Therein is heaven’s treasure.

MOVING FORWARD: Autumn is a great time to clean out closets, storage areas, etc. What will you keep, donate, or repurpose?