Day Four – No pain, no gain

Today’s Scripture: Luke 18:18-30

It’s difficult to watch people walk away as they turn down or reject the very thing that will set them free, isn’t it? But, sometimes that’s exactly what we must do. Some people call this “tough love.” Whatever we choose to call it, it’s a necessary dynamic that Jesus modeled.

For example, in Luke 18:18-30 we read the story of the rich ruler who asked Jesus how he might attain eternal life. Jesus told him to sell his riches and give everything to the poor. The man walked away sad, because he was very wealthy and didn’t want to part with his possessions. Notice Jesus didn’t run after the man; nor did He try to make it easier by renegotiating that he give only half—or even a tenth—of his wealth. Jesus simply watched the man walk away. He had just offered the very thing the rich man needed, and yet he rejected it because it was too painful a price to pay.

Pain is a signal that something is wrong. If we remove someone’s pain without looking at the cause, we aren’t doing that person much of a favor, are we?

  • How do you think the rich young ruler would have responded if Jesus had pursued him to renegotiate?
  • How difficult is it for you when someone rejects your wise counsel? What is your response when they walk away? How would you react if they came later for more counsel?

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