A certain ruler asked him, “Good teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life? “Why do you call me good?” Jesus answered. “No one is good—except God alone. You know the commandments: ‘You shall not commit adultery, you shall not murder, you shall not steal, you shall not give false testimony, honor your father and mother.’” “All these I have kept since I was a boy,” he said. When Jesus heard this, he said to him, “You still lack one thing. Sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.” When he heard this, he became very sad, because he was very wealthy.  Luke 18:18-23

I once heard of a strange method used for hunting monkeys in Africa using a shiny object or food and a termite mound. The idea was simple. Make a hole in the termite mound, place the bait inside, and wait for the monkey to come along. When the monkey reaches in to grab the bait, the hunter jumps out and bludgeons the animal. By nature, the monkey will not release the lure and his balled up fist is too bulky to withdraw from the hole. If the monkey lets go, he could easily escape the trap.

This dialogue between Jesus and the ruler has some striking similarity. The ruler wanted to be justified in his behavior, acting almost as if he wished for a spiritual pat on the back. But Jesus, the Master Teacher did what only he could and expose the reality of the trap. This ruler was holding on very tightly to something that kept him from finding what he was looking for. As men, we can and do hold too tightly to the things of this world.

DO THIS TODAY: Find one thing to let go of.