“Jesus looked him hard in the eye—and loved him! He said, ‘There's one thing left: Go sell whatever you own and give it to the poor. All your wealth will then be heavenly wealth. And come follow me.’ The man's face clouded over. This was the last thing he expected to hear, and he walked off with a heavy heart. He was holding on tight to a lot of things, and not about to let go.”
-Mark 10:21-22 (The Message)
Every day it sits on my desk as a powerful reminder. It tugs on my soul with a convicting message that seems to say, “Be careful. Do not let your life be like this.” The object is a gorgeous leather Bible with all the extras, including gold tipped pages. It’s real nice. But the reason I don’t want my life to be like this Bible is that when you crack open the pages, you discover that the pages are blank. Yup—not a single word or letter. It appears to be the Bible of all Bibles on the outside, but it contains nothing of God’s message on the inside. The fake Bible had actually been a sample sent to me by a publisher so that we could get an idea of a cover we wanted for a future FCA Bible. The sample just needed blank pages to fill the inside.
Now this blank Bible sits on my desk as a constant warning. It motivates me every day to be real and authentic—to not fake it, and to make sure that nothing gets in the way of my following Christ.
I have a question for you: Are you faking it? Do you appear one way on the outside and a different way on the inside? Truthfully there are gaps in all of our souls. We might be like that Bible more than we think. It can be a daily battle. On the surface, we may look a certain way, but in our hearts feel totally different. “I’m just glad they don’t know what I am really thinking or feeling on the inside,” we might think. “Thank goodness the outside can cover up the inside.”
Sometimes this even leaks into our sports competition. We want others to think we are better athletes than we are. We get pulled into the trap of posing—looking good and impressing others. When we compete, we slip into performing for others instead of glorifying God. As athletes and coaches, we can be the worst posers. We become experts of covering up our true selves because we think people won’t like who we really are. We actually believe the fake version of us is what people want. We think that faking it covers the hurts, fears, wounds and gaps. The bad stuff gets conveniently tucked away.
God has a way of slicing through all of that. Everything changes when God’s touch cuts through the surface and pierces the heart. His touch grips our souls and exposes our gaps. You can’t play it safe when it comes to following Christ. Nowhere in Scripture does Jesus encourage us to surrender our lives to Him so that life will get easier. The Lord’s call always touches the very thing we don’t want to give up. He finds the one thing that hurts the most. In Mark 10:17-22, Jesus basically says, “Hey rich man, give up your wealth and follow Me.” The rich man went away sad, because Jesus pinpointed the very thing that the man wanted to hold back. The issue wasn’t that he was rich, but that his wealth got in the way of his following Christ.
We all have something that gets in the way of our loving Jesus the way we should. His touch pierces our heart because He knows the very thing that prevents us from following hard after Him. The real question is not whether we have something that holds us back, but what are we doing about it. We need to examine the thing that gets in the way from being all-in.
In your own life, what is the thing that is constantly holding you back from experiencing Christ’s power? Identify it. God’s touch can heal it. What would it look like for God to reach in and heal that one thing in your life? How different would your life be? No more faking. No more posing. No more covering up. Let Him set you free today.
1. For the rich man it was wealth that got in the way of following God. What gets in your way of following Jesus?
2. How do you pose? Why do we pretend to be one thing on the outside and different on the inside?
3. What is God revealing to you about the one thing He wants to touch and change? Would you let Him heal you today?
2 Corinthians 5:17
"Father, thank You for Your faithfulness in helping me to change. I confess that there are gaps in my life. It has become too natural for me to live a fake life. I want to be the real deal. Show me the gaps. Expose them. Forgive me for letting anything getting between You and me. I ask for Your touch today. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.”
About the Author:
Dan Britton serves as the Fellowship of Christian Athletes' Executive Vice President of International Ministry and Training at the National Support Center in Kansas City. He has been on FCA staff since 1991, first serving for 13 years in Virginia and most recently as the Executive V.P. of Ministry Programs. In high school and college, Dan was a standout lacrosse player. He continued his lacrosse career by playing professional indoor lacrosse for four years with the Baltimore Thunder. He has coauthored three books, One Word That Will Change Your Life, WisdomWalks and WisdomWalks SPORTS, and he is the author and editor of eleven FCA books. He still plays and coaches lacrosse and enjoys running marathons. He and his wife Dawn reside in Overland Park, Kansas, with their three children: Kallie, Abby and Elijah. You can e-mail Dan at firstname.lastname@example.org. Become a WisdomWalker! WisdomWalks.org