Is “Sell All You Have, Give it to the Poor, and Come and Follow Me” Practical Advice?

I’m highlighting questions and answers from Daniel Threlfall’s recent interview of me which will appear soon on Sharefaith.com. Today Daniel asks me about one of my favorite Scriptures on giving.

Jesus told us to “sell all you have” and give it away. Is that wise? Realistic? Or maybe a bit too radical?

Wisdom personified, yeah. The rich young ruler thinks in terms of his receiving an inheritance—“Good teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?”–and Jesus responds in terms of his becoming the philanthropy of God dispensed to the world in Christ’s name.

As Jesus notes, it is not a one-time act but rather a daily choice one makes. The rich young ruler rightly perceives that this is a threat to his system of personal security which says that he can only care for others once his own well-being is secured.

But in Christ our well-being is never in question. He will always empty himself into us. And the more we become conscious of that deeply, the more we will respond by emptying ourselves into others.

The security comes from Christ’s constant self-emptying into us, not from what we don’t empty into others. We can’t take up a cross and a little bit of self-fulfillment daily. We either have to decide that Christ is going to continue to empty himself into us daily or he’s not.

About Pastor Foley

The Reverend Dr. Eric Foley is CEO and Co-Founder, with his wife Dr. Hyun Sook Foley, of Voice of the Martyrs Korea, supporting the work of persecuted Christians in North Korea and around the world and spreading their discipleship practices worldwide. He is also the International Ambassador for the International Christian Association, the global fellowship of Voice of the Martyrs sister ministries. Pastor Foley is a much sought after speaker, analyst, and project consultant on the North Korean underground church, North Korean defectors, and underground church discipleship. He and Dr. Foley oversee a far-flung staff across Asia that is working to help North Koreans and Christians everywhere grow to fullness in Christ. He earned the Doctor of Management at Case Western Reserve University's Weatherhead School of Management in Cleveland, Ohio.
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