Archive for March 11th, 2008

Inside Job

Tuesday, March 11th, 2008

Editor’s note: In the core Discipleship Classes at Jesus MCC, we study what we call Building Blocks.” These Blocks are spiritual tools and practices we can put into place to intentionally develop our relationship with God. From time to time, Be Still and Know will spend a week looking at one of the Blocks. This week, we’re looking at Block “D”, the Discipleship Decision. All of the Blocks are outlined here.

Today’s scripture: Mark 10:17-27 (ESV-text and audio) (NRSV) (The Message)

As you read, consider: What might God be saying to me? Summarize your thoughts in a sentence or two.

My thoughts (Rev. Tammy Mills):

From a very early age I have had this scripture beaten into my brain. So, naturally, I balked at writing a Be Still about a scripture I have come to not really appreciate too much anymore! I still believe God is speaking in this scripture, but I was pretty sure there was nothing new in it for me!

I forced myself to set aside years of Christian indoctrination, and try to look it at with a fresher perspective. Much to my delight, I discovered some things I had never thought of before.

Perhaps the rich man asked Jesus the wrong question. After all, Jesus doesn’t answer him directly. He redirects his initial question. How often do I not speak my truth or really say what is in my heart?

The rich man seems all concerned with what he had to do! He was looking to things outside himself to secure his place in heaven. Jesus asks the right question by helping him to remember he has really done everything!

I love the next part of this scripture that says Jesus looked at him and loved him. You know, I don’t think I have ever heard a pastor, in all my years, highlight that part of this verse. Jesus had nothing but love for this man. When Jesus looked at the man he really saw him. He didn’t see all the stuff or the good works. He saw his torn heart and he loved him.

Finally, Jesus tells him to get rid of the stuff and look inside, and the rich man goes away grieving. I am quick to condemn him.

Upon further reflection, though, I imagine that if Jesus looked at me with love, and told me to quit trying to buy or do my salvation, I would probably grieve the loss also! I am always much quicker to trust things external to myself rather than to look inside!

I think perhaps that might be why it is so hard for rich folks. (And you know, this can include just about all of us.) They (We) have so much external stuff that they (we) are often distracted from the real task at hand — letting God’s grace and love transform our soul.

Thought for the day: Do I trust God’s power within me to continue the work that it has already begun? Could I let go of doing and acquiring long enough to look within?

We encourage you to include a time of prayer with this reading. If you need a place to get started, consider the guidelines on the How to Pray page.

"Be still, and know that I am God." Psalm 46:10
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