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Who do you think is happier, the man who has ten children or the man who has $10 million?  The answer is the man with ten kids because he knows he does not want any more. The man with $10 million always wants more.

In today’s Gospel (Mark 10:17-30) a wealthy young man asks Jesus what he must do to inherit eternal life. Jesus asks him if he knows the commandments. He recites them and says that he has always observed them. 

Jesus knew that he was truthful and he looked on him with love. Jesus tells him to go and sell what he has and give it to the poor so he will have treasure in heaven and then come and follow Jesus. But the young man went away sad because he had many possessions. 

Jesus is not denouncing wealth or money or rich people. Some of Jesus’ closest friends were rich. Many rich people use their money well and give to great causes. Jesus is simply pointing out that wealth can be an attractive hazard.

Wealth is attractive because of all the things it can buy. Money has a power of its own. Money and wealth carry a built-in compulsion to want more and more, like the man with $10 million. We all know people who have made money and wealth to be their master rather than their servant. 

Jesus offers us a principle for balancing money and wealth in our lives: “It is not what you have, but what you must let go of for the sake of your soul and for the sake of the Kingdom of heaven that matters.” 

What are YOU willing to let go of for the sake of YOUR soul and the souls of those dear to YOU?


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