What Lack I Yet?


“…behold, one came and said unto him, Good Master, what good thing shall I do, that I may have eternal life?”

This is a question that all of us might want to ask. I try to “liken” the scriptures to my own life, so when the Savior gave his response, I asked myself, ” What does his answer mean to me?” Here is the Savior’s response to the young rich man.

“…if thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments. He saith unto him, Which? Jesus said, Thou shalt do no murder, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness, Honour thy father and thy mother: and, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. The young man saith unto him, All these things have I kept from my youth up: what lack I yet?”

Apparently this young man was an outstanding individual. He knew of the commandments and was confident in saying that he was keeping them. Then came the Savior’s response to his question of “What lack I yet?”

“Jesus said unto him, If thou wilt be perfect, go and sell that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come and follow me. But when the young man heard that saying, he went away sorrowful: for he had great possessions.”

In essence, Christ had asked the young rich man to give up everything for the kingdom of God. But “he went away sorrowful: for he had great possessions.” This young man was asked to give up his riches and although he was a good man, he wasn’t able to commit all that he had to follow the Savior. There is no question that such a sacrifice would have been great on the part of the young man. For each of us it might be something different that we are asked to give up in order for us to gain “treasures in heaven.” For some of us it is easy to follow one commandment, but hard to follow another and visa versa. But the Lord is clear. We need to be “willing” to give all that we have. It doesn’t mean the Lord will require all, but our hearts must be willing.

I am reminded a number of years ago of a man who had committed several immoral acts that were fed by his heavy addiction to pornography. When he was asked if he was willing to give up this addictive habit he responded with a resounding “NO!” I thought at the time how sad it was that he was willing to sell his membership in the kingdom for such a cheap price.

We all have things in our lives that we hold onto that might be called “ungodly.” Let us learn a lesson from the rich young man and not sell our “treasure in heaven” for lack of faith or trade it for the cheap thrills of this world!

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