By Miriam Riad
Throughout Scripture, we see that followers of Jesus are required to take risks. Whether it is risk of social status, risk of losing possessions, or even risk of their very lives, Christians are called to this life of abandonment. One of my favorites passages of Scripture is Mark 10, where Jesus has a conversation with the wealthy young ruler about what it means to inherit eternal life:
“Now as he was going out on the road, one came running, knelt before him, and asked him, ‘Good Teacher, what shall I do that I may inherit eternal life?’ So Jesus said to him, ‘Why do you call me good? No one is good but One, that is, God. You know the commandments: “Do not commit adultery, Do not murder, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Do not defraud. Honor your father and your mother”.’ And he answered and said to him, ‘Teacher, all these things I have kept from my youth.’ Then Jesus, looking at him, loved him, and said to him, ‘One thing you lack: Go your way, sell whatever you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven and come, take up the cross, and follow Me.’ But he was sad at this word, and went away sorrowful, for he had great possessions.” (Mark 10: 17-21)
We see that it is not enough to merely refrain from doing bad things. A step further, one that is much more difficult, is to actively pursue righteousness and justice, rather than avoid wrongdoing. Because it requires sacrifice from us. In this case, Jesus was asking this man to risk his social status and material security. But do you know what I love about his passage? It says “Jesus, looking at him, loved him.” Jesus loved this young man in his weakness, even in his unwillingness to sacrifice.
So for those of us who are desiring and willing yet are struggling to trust God and risk our personal, material security and comfort–know that there is infinite grace to obey, and what we will gain is far greater than what we give up.