“There is still one thing you haven’t done,” he told him.
“Go and sell all your possessions and give the money to the poor,
and you will have treasures in heaven. Then come follow me.”
– Mark 10:21
“Give me everything you’ve got!” “Leave everything on the field.” Coaches use these phrases over and over as they motivate and encourage their athletes. What are they really saying to their players when they communicate these messages? What do they want them to do? If I were to use these words, I would be appealing to an athlete to give his or her personal best during the entire competition—to give their best effort on every play. I would be reminding them that they won’t get a do-over. When the game or match is over, that’s it. Each athlete will have to live with his or her own efforts. I would not want my athletes to have regrets about their performance. To give maximum effort means to totally surrender to accomplishing the task at hand. The main focus is the team. This type of athlete is rare because too often they place a higher value on things such as personal accomplishments, self-recognition, or entitlement. Total surrender is tough and you can’t fake it!
In the Book of Mark, Jesus teaches us what it means to give our all. The rich man wanted to know what it would take to play on Jesus’ team. He was young and he certainly felt that he was good enough. He told Jesus that he not only knew all the rules of the game, but that he had always followed them too. In the young man’s mind, he was giving everything that he had. Jesus, always the teacher and coach, called his hand by telling him there was one more thing he had to do to play for Him. Jesus told him to sell everything he had and give the money to the poor. He was asking this rich, young, man to totally surrender and leave everything on the field. Unfortunately, the man left with embarrassment on his face and sadness in his heart. We can only assume that there was a great deal of regret as well. Do you want to play for Jesus? You can’t fake it. He wants all that we have, total surrender. What will it take for you to wave your white flag?
Lord Jesus, thank You for the lesson of the rich, young man. Help me today to search my heart and place the highest value on things that will draw me closer to You. Amen.