One topic that Jesus talked about quite often was on the subject of “giving.” It was not just isolated to financial giving but the principle of giving in general. This is probably the case because it reflected his heart… He was going to “give” his life as a ransom for many.
In Luke 12, Jesus tells a parable about a rich man who accumulated a lot of things for himself. But then his very lifestyle was challenged with the prospect of death and the question of “then who will get what you have prepared for yourself?” (Luke 12:20).
Sometimes we don’t realize the hold that success and wealth has on us – it is very subtle. Therefore, the best test is to see how we react when things are taken away from us. By the way, this principle can be applied to even relationships or anything that comes in competition with God (I think in the Bible they call this an idol).
I read a CNN article this morning about a Ferrari Enzo car crash that fueled these thoughts. The rare Ferrari Enzo, which is owned by Daniel Sadel, an executive producer of “Redline” is valued at around $1.5 million. There are only 400 Ferrari Enzos that were ever produced in the years 2002 through 2004 – truly a car-lover’s ultimate collector’s item.
In order to promote their new movie, “Redline” comedian, Eddie Griffin was driving it around in a test track. But unfortunately, he crashed the car. In the article Sadek had mixed feelings about the crash. Sadek said, “I’m glad Eddie came out of the crash OK, but my dream car got destroyed. I went to my trailer for about 15 minutes and I thought, there’s people dying every day. A lot of worse things are happening in the world.”
Oh the tension. You got to love it.
This is the tension we have to feel when we are challenged with Jesus’ word, “If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me and for the gospel will save it. What good is it for a man to gain the whole world, yet forfeit his soul?” (Mark 8:34-36).
How many times has God challenged us with these tension filled questions when it came down to our family, finances, friendship, and future decisions?
A good perspective to see if we are holding on to anything but Jesus Christ is to sometimes lose it, no matter how painful it may be.