What person hasn’t daydreamed at least once about what they’d do if they won the lottery? What would be your wildest dreams if you were doing more than just getting by?
There’s a man I see most every day when I exercise. When I ask him how he’s doing, his standard answer is “I’m alive.” Whenever I ask him if anything is wrong, his answer is always. “No, I’m just getting by.”
I’ve thought a lot about his answer. What does it mean to just get by? What does it mean to just be alive; just breathing? What type of people do more than just get by?
A lot of people think those who have monetary wealth do more than just get by. It’s interesting that a cocky, rich man asked Jesus a question that has something to do with what was apparently in his wildest dreams and was definitely in the category of more than getting by.
My paraphrase of Matthew 19:16 goes like this: “How much money do you want for this invention you’ve named eternal life?” He had bought everything he could with his money and all that was left to buy the newest and latest thing this latest crowd-gatherer in Israel seemed to have.
Jesus’ bottom line answer to one of the richest guys of his day was to sell it all and give the money to the poor. Then, follow Him. It would be akin to telling Donald Trump or Bill Gates the same thing today. Jesus had guts, that’s for sure.
You know the story. The dude went away sad “because he had great wealth”. He thought he had it made. He thought he was doing a lot more than getting by. He had money everywhere and the promise of more to come. But he went away sad, dejected, back to square one.
In terms of what really ultimately matters, he wasn’t even getting by. For the rich, young ruler, money was the problem, not the answer.
What is the answer then? In John 10:10, Jesus said if we will follow Him we will not just have life but we will have it to the full, a rich and satisfying life. He wasn’t talking about money. He was talking about something that is worth far more than monetary wealth ever could hope to be worth.
He was talking about living a life of meaning. He was talking about giving away, not just money, but all our earthly wants for something that transcends time. It is more than just getting a ticket to heaven, it is following His will, His desire, His lead in our lives.
Giving our lives away for Him blesses us each day in ways that are far more than we could ever imagine, guess or request in our wildest dreams (Ephesians 3:20). It has nothing to do with money. It has everything to do with living in abundance. It’s more than just breathing, a lot more indeed.