Have you ever listened to a recording of your own voice? Did it surprise you? Most people are surprised when they hear the sound of their voice in a recording. Why is that? Well, what you perceive yourself to sound like and what you actually sound like are usually quite different.
Matthew 19:20 The young man said to Him, “All these things I have kept from my youth. What do I still lack?”
Of course, other people know exactly what our voice sounds like because they hear it from an outside perspective. I hate to break it to you, but that carries over into most other areas of life. The image you thought you saw in the mirror this morning, may not be what other people see … no matter how long you took perfecting it. Those good works that make us feel good about ourselves, might look self-serving to someone else.
This young man in Matthew 19 has told himself, “I look fine.” He says, I’ve kept the laws from childhood (I doubt it). He says, “I’ve lived a good life, I’m a good person.” Jesus, however, holds up a mirror and shows this young man his true reflection. Let’s see what occupies the throne of his heart.
Matthew 19:21-22 Jesus said to him, “If you want to be perfect, go, sell what you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me.” But when the young man heard that saying, he went away sorrowful, for he had great possessions.
That throne was not occupied by God but possessions ruled his life. He went away sad, sorrowful … he knew the choice he should make, but sadly, he would not make that choice. Maybe there was a time when his eyes were on God, but at some point in time self became the apple of his eye. That is so easy to do, and it’s not that one day we decide we are going to replace God with possessions. It happens gradually, one day at a time.
It wasn’t the selling of his possessions that would lead to salvation, but taking his eyes off of possessions would allow him to place his eyes on Jesus. Take a moment to consider whether your eyes are on God or on things.