A guest post by Isaac Lucero.
“Too many. Way too many.” I say this as I look at the box of supplements in the fridge. Yikes. It looks like a supplement warehouse in there. To be clear-these were not my spouses’. They were mine. And they were out of control. How did it get this out of hand?
As I look at my own sinful indulgences, I find it extremely difficult to avoid the word hypocrite. There is no real need for it to have gotten so extreme. How can I justify so much time and money spent on something for superficial reasons?
I obviously cannot, and it had spiraled out of control. Earlier in life, I believe the supplement use was reasonable and did not consume my heart. But it had now become an idol in my life, stood in the way of my walk with God, and hypocrite was the word I was now facing. I indulged my appetite for athletic supplements and what they did for my body while following and sacrificing for Christ took a backseat.
Taking an honest look at yourself can be frightening. Challenge yourself with some basic, possibly painful questions. What do I spend my money on, what do I do with my time, and what things do I think about the most? You can probably find the answers to all of these questions without doing too much homework.
Jesus exposed the rich young ruler and uncovered his true heart when he was asked to give up what he valued most (his possessions) for God’s Kingdom. Jesus chose to cut right down to the core of the problem and asked him to give up what he valued most for what matters forever.
And behold, a man came up to him, saying, “Teacher, what good deed must I do to have eternal life?” And he said to him, “Why do you ask me about what is good? There is only one who is good. If you would enter life, keep the commandments.” He said to him, “Which ones?” And Jesus said, “You shall not murder, You shall not commit adultery, You shall not steal, You shall not bear false witness, Honor your father and mother, and, You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” The young man said to him, “All these I have kept. What do I still lack?” Jesus said to him, “If you would be perfect, go, sell what you possess and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me.” When the young man heard this he went away sorrowful, for he had great possessions.
(Matthew 19:16-22 ESV)
The young man went away sorrowful, because he could see what the true cost of following Jesus would be. Giving up what he truly loved was simply more than he could bear. The story could have had a different ending had the rich man repented for his sin and began to obey in faith. But this was asking too much.
If you feel like God is asking too much from you, don’t just feel sorry and walk away. Repent, continually pray for strength to let go of this sin, and do what is right in God’s eyes. Following Christ can involve hard decisions, but considering the eternal good that we gain by following him can help us to leave behind our idols.