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Identity Crisis

There is a story in the bible about a rich man who approached Jesus and asked Him what he must do to attain eternal life. Jesus tells him to keep the commandments, and when the man tells him he has kept them all, Jesus gives him one more task:

"If you want to be perfect, go, sell your possessions and give them to the poor, and you will have treasure in Heaven. Then come, follow me." (Matthew 19:21)

The man goes away sadly because he has great wealth, and cannot bear to part with it.

Jesus asks the man to give away more than just security and possessions. He asks him to part with something that for most of the man's life has defined him. It has defined what he does, who he associates with, how he sees his future. His wealth is a huge part of who he is, and though Jesus offers him a life lived for others, a life with the promise of eternal life, he cannot give it up.

When meditating on what this story means for Christians today, and for myself in a world where material pos…

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