The rich young ruler came to Jesus looking for eternal life. It took only a few minutes for Jesus to make him realize that he loved the things of the world more than he loved God. The young man could not part with the things of the world. They were his. He wanted them. He depended on them.
Matthew 19:24 says, "And again I say unto you, It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God."
I've read this verse a hundred times over and while I always knew it was an important verse, I never truly believed that it applied to me. I mean really, there are many people that are WAY richer than me in this world. Last night however, I was in for a rude awakening as I read the book "Kisses From Katie," a book about a teenage girl that became a missionary in Uganda. She was writing about her return to America after a year in Uganda. The chapter was about her struggles of fitting into her old world, a world where you really don't have to be dependant on God to live. In Uganda, she prayed constantly, she depended on God for everything. However, in America everything is in reach. She always had food and water and everything else she needed.
This opened my eyes to how rich I truly am in worldly goods, and how very much I am like the rich young ruler. That young man was so dependant on his wealth that he could not become dependant on God. In America, in my home, I don't have to depend on God for my food, for water, for clothing, for money. I think of all the times I just ate the food, just took the shower, just bought the frappachino, and suddenly I see how little I truly depend on God. I think of how often I cling to things and don't want to give them up. How foolish! How foolish this rich young man was! How foolish I am! I would rather cling to the material things of the world than cling to my Heavenly Father and Creator.
Right now, I am the rich young ruler. Jesus gave me a choice. Give up the things of the world and follow him, or walk away troubled. I want to follow Christ, like Peter and John and all the other disciples that gave up everything in order to follow the Savior. That's the choice I want to make, but only in the strength of the Lord. With Him and through Him I can let worldly goods and wealth go.