Working with college students you hear a lot of interesting things. After all, it’s a time in life where people are legally adults and yet are still often isolated from the harsh truths of the “real world.” As these students near graduation, those truths quickly become their reality. It’s a time for them to figure out how it is that they want to contribute, in what arena they will use their talents and gifts, and to set out to make that happen.
It’s not uncommon for students to get to this point and eschew what they perceive as the “easy route.” For example, they don’t want to go work in their parents’ business, because they want to make it on their own. However, these same individuals who revel in their self-proclaimed independence may have no issue using their parents’ connections to land the job they really want. While their words may say that their abandoning the comfort that their parents’ hard work has afforded them, their actions demonstrate that they have no trouble reverting back to it when the benefits are too tempting to pass up.
Similarly, we often face the same reticence to abandon our former ways when it comes to our relationship with Christ. We may find its easy to proclaim that we willing to give up everything for Him, and yet, when comfort calls, we often revert back to those temptations we hold dear. I may say to God that I’m willing to go to the ends of the Earth, and yet I’m unwilling to give Him my desires and dreams. My words may indicate a departure from my past, but my actions demonstrate otherwise.
However, as a great song by Hillsong United reminds us, is not just our stuff that we have to give up for the sake of Christ; we have to abandon everything – our very soul – for Him. We say that we want “Jesus to come live in our hearts” but in reality being a Christian means giving up our heart to Him. There is no half-way. We can’t cling to ourselves and have Him. We must let go of it all.
And in His graciousness, He’s promised to reward those who do so. When, for His sake, we abandon all this life affords us, all the benefits of temptations and the comfort of living for ourselves, in the next life, the life that lasts for eternity, we will have all things.
It’s not easy. After all, we are all too familiar with what we know and desire; we know well the convenience of sin. And yet, it’s only in giving up what we claim as “ours” that we get that which really matters. It’s only in abandoning self that we get Him.
(This post contains an affiliate link.)