Futile Attachments

“Now behold, one came and said to Him, ‘Good Teacher, what good thing shall I do that I may have eternal life?’ So He said to him, ‘Why do you call Me good? No one is good but One, that is, God. But if you want to enter into life, keep the commandments.’ He said to Him, ‘Which ones?’ Jesus said, ‘‘You shall not murder,’ ‘You shall not commit adultery,’ ‘You shall not steal,’ ‘You shall not bear false witness,’ ‘Honor your father and your mother,’ and, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’’ The young man said to Him, ‘All these things I have kept from my youth. What do I still lack?’ Jesus said to him, ‘If you want to be perfect, go, sell what you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me.’ But when the young man heard that saying, he went away sorrowful, for he had great possessions.” (Matthew 19:16-22)

There are many points in our lives when we receive great possessions, whether it was gifted to us or something that we purchased through hard work. But there will come a time when we can no longer use these items, as they could be worn out or damaged to the point where they are unusable, or we would lose interest in them and try to give it to someone else or even throw it out. We become so attached to these material belongings that if we ever leave or forget them somewhere, we become upset and have that fill up our minds.

One day, we will not be able to keep holding onto these items. We will be forced to leave them behind. We pour so much emotion into physical objects that sometimes we do not realize how much they mean to us until they are gone. Above all else, this is something we can obtain that no physical object can instill emotions in us: a strong relationship with God. He is always waiting to give our attention and time to Him but we get so preoccupied with our belongings that we may even forget to talk to Him. If He asks us to do something we do not like, we refuse to do it. This is just like the rich man in the passage. He owned all sorts of things that once he was told to sell what he has and to give to the poor, he could not bring himself to do so. When we die, we will not be able to hold onto any of the things that we possess. The only things we can hold onto are the fruits of the Holy Spirit and our faith that we can spend an eternity with God.

We are told to follow and honor the commandments closely ever since we learned about them when we were young. We understand that if any of the commandments are to be broken, we ask for forgiveness. God is the only one that can provide this greatest possession that nothing and no one else can provide. The feeling we get after repenting is unimaginable compared to any other feeling a physical object can provide.