Thus says Yahweh, â€œDonâ€™t let the wise man glory in his wisdom, neither let the mighty man glory in his might, donâ€™t let the rich man glory in his riches; but let him who glories glory in this, that he has understanding, and knows me, that I am Yahweh who exercises loving kindness, justice, and righteousness, in the earth: for in these things I delight,â€ says Yahweh.Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Jeremiah 9:23-24 (WEB)
Then Jesus said to his disciples, â€œI tell you the truth, it is hard for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven. Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.â€ Â Â Â Â Matthew 19:23-24 (NIV)
We live in a world that defines a successful life by wealth, education, and peer homage. This is not a new concept. The disciples thought that if you were rich then God must be approving of your life and eternity with Him was your well-paid ticket. Todayâ€™s media has made this misconception its â€˜gospelâ€™ and convinces me with catchy, flashy advertising. Song lyrics and story lines play only one theme â€“ beauty, sex appeal, and â€˜toysâ€™. Living life contrary to this blitz truly can be compared to a fish swimming upstream!
My wisdom, my strength (mental and physical health), who I am, cannot be defined by the world. If I allow the world to tell me who I am, I am on a journey that may end at any moment despite my best efforts and I may become another statistic when the world moves me to their failure column.
It has taken me some time to come on board with Godâ€™s view of my life. I chose a profession that serves. (nursing) I truly enjoyed my life. And then quietly and insidiously moving up the ladder of success and obtaining the symbols of that success became important. What people said about me and my life became important. Serving others was a means to my end.
God loved me. He loved me enough to take away all that I thought was holding me up. It was a devastating time because I didnâ€™t know who I was any more! I had no titles. I was financially poor. But when I had no one to lean on â€“ Jesus was there! In the alone-ness of my room, Jesus was there to hold me when I wept. He dried my tears. He spoke to me so quietly and with such truth about who I am; who I have always been. Jesus stayed with me as I let the â€˜Old Jodyâ€™ go and took the â€˜New Jodyâ€™ out for a test drive. It wasnâ€™t easy. I was like a child wobbling on her first bike. And like a good Father, Jesus kept His hand on the seat to steady me.
â€œbut let him who glories glory in this, that he has understanding, and knows me, that I am Yahweh who exercises loving kindness, justice, and righteousness, in the earth: for in these things I delight,â€ says Yahweh.Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Jeremiah 9:24 (WEB)
Iâ€™m still learning. I have times when I cast a wistful eye over my shoulder toward something shiny in the worldâ€™s store window. But when I look back to Jesus, I see yet another ever-lasting blessing and I step on down His path for me.
Iâ€™ve learned some lessons that had hard consequences. I do not want to repeat them! Thank You, Lord, that You are just and right and so very kind.