Wrapping up our Good to Great series with Part 4, Pastor Chris breaks down some of the hindrances to this Great life. Looking at the story in Matthew chapter 19 of the Rich Young Man we see some principles that kept him from moving into a great life.
Jesus has an interesting interaction with this man. He approached Jesus and asks, “What good thing must I do to get eternal life?” In his book, “Good too Great.” Jim Collins is quoted saying, “Good is the enemy of great. And that is one of the key reasons why we have so little that becomes great. Few people attain great lives, in large part because it is just so easy to settle for a good life.” How many times in life do we let good get in the way of our great?
The Rich Young Man here is asking what is there really a difference between good and great? I mean it is just a word in all. This man only wanted to do something good in order to achieve the great, eternal life.
He continues in the conversation with Jesus asking, “Which ones?” This is referring to the fact that Jesus says, “If you want to enter life, keep the commandments.” The man is asking, “Jesus, ok I see you are saying keep the commandments, but which ones? Which ones are the most important and which ones can I just slide by?” How many times in life are we like this? We just want to sneak by. Getting just the bare minimum accomplished.
The Young Man continues telling Jesus, “All of these I have kept.” He is saying, “Jesus, come on, I have already done all of that.” The Bible does not say this but I am thinking that this man as Jesus is listing these commandments, he is sitting there comparing himself to all of those around him. “I am better that that person, I have them beat, I have way surpassed them. I am totally good!”
The reality is that this man came to Jesus not to really learn what he needed to do but he was looking for a pat on the back. For Jesus to say, “Wow, look at you. You have achieved it all. You are the best.” But the reality is that this is far from the truth. We all are working to grow into this life that God has for us. And time and time again, we in our pride get in the way of letting God do what He wants.
Ultimately the Young Man walked away. It says in Matthew 19:22 , “That was the last thing the young man expected to hear. And so, crestfallen, he walked away. He was holding on tight to a lot of things, and he couldn’t bear to let go.” So the question is for us is are we willing to let go and let God teach us, grow us, shape us into who He wants us to be. Living a life that He desires? Not the life that we think God wants for us.
How Can We Be Praying For You?