A Heart Greedy for Love
What is good? Looking at society, it is really hard to tell in life. An example of what we think to be 'good' (or at least society) is a romantic movie, but they don't stop at the kissing. There is visual nudity, and the modern world deems that 'proper' and 'worthy' for watching. How is this 'good' you say? Well, society pressures different things in our direction, which also includes "you need to buy as much as you can because things will make you happy'. We know this is not anywhere near close to how we can find true happiness. It is not what God gives to us and deems as good. Then what is good?
Today's Gospel states:'And behold, one came up to him, saying, "Teacher, what good deed must I do, to have eternal life?" And he said to him, "Why do you ask me about what is good? One there is who is good. If you would enter life, keep the commandments." He said to him, "Which?" And Jesus said, "You shall not kill, You shall not commit adultery, You shall not steal, You shall not bear false witness, Honor your father and mother, and, You shall love your neighbor as yourself." The young man said to him, "All these I have observed; what do I still lack?" Jesus said to him, "If you would be perfect, go, sell what you possess and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me." When the young man heard this he went away sorrowful; for he had great possessions' (Matthew 19:16-22).
Jesus tells us that 'good' is obeying the commandments and following him, in everything we do. The man tells him that he has done all of these things, except selling all of his processions. He couldn't give up what was of this world. He clung to it. Do you have something in this world that you cling to, perhaps deem right because the world tells you it's fine? Perhaps you spend too much online shopping and not enough donating to charity and helping those in need. Ask God to help you focus on what is truly 'good' and less on things that lead us away from unhappiness.
Today's prayer comes from 'The Gospel Coalition' a prayer against greed:
Dear heavenly Father, throughout your Word, you have things to say to us about greed—strong cautions about our heart’s relentless hunger, quest, and demand to have a little more. But today, Jesus’ warning about “all kinds” of greed has broadened this admonition, and I find myself both convicted of sin and wooed to a deeper relationship with Jesus.
Like anyone, I can be greedy for money and the things money can buy. Though it’s easy for me to downplay my cash greed by comparing myself to others, seemingly much more preoccupied with getting rich than I am, nonetheless, Father, your warning about the love of money being a root of all kinds of evil is real to me.
But I am also aware of being greedy for other “currencies” too. When Jesus “isn’t enough” for me, I get greedy for control over my space, schedule, and interruptions; I get greedy for people to notice me and appreciate me; I get greedy for being included in special circles of cool and important people; I get greedy for being thought of as smart and spiritual; I get greedy for people not to be needy or have unrealistic expectations of me. Ouch, I’m going to stop there, Father, though I could add to my “all kinds of greed” list.
I repent, Father, and collapse upon Jesus as my righteousness; and ask you both forgive me and liberate me. I want to glorify you and enjoy you—more than ever. By the power of the Holy Spirit, help me to find my deepest satisfaction, joy, and peace in knowing, loving, and serving Jesus. So very Amen I pray, in his magnificent and merciful name.