Vol.XIX No.VII Pg.1
September 1982

One Thing Thou Lackest

Robert F. Turner

And then Jesus told him six things to do: go thy way, sell whatsoever thou hast, and give to the poor... and come, take up the cross, and follow me (Mk. 10:21). Six things? Or was it really just, "You must change your allegiance—put me before worldly possessions." The records say Jesus "beholding him loved him" but that love did not change the requirements, and he allowed the young man to go away sad and grieved—but unsaved.

Sometimes I hear brethren speak of some good neighbor, well loved and respected for his clean moral life; and they say, "All he would have to do is just be baptized." How very wrong and shallow we can be at times.

"Just be baptized"? Just see yourself as a lost sinner, wholly dependent upon the mercies of God? Just die to your past life? Just submit to Him as Lord, in an act of dedication, a pledge to put Him first for the remainder of your life, regardless of the cost? The problem here is, we are unaware of our own failures, our own lack of dedication, our tarnished new life (?), but want to use ourselves as the standard for measuring others whom we would see "come to Christ." To Christ? Or to be with us??

An obedient faith is "one thing" all lack, who have not come to Jesus Christ; but Jesus actually was being more particular than we have indicated. When he spoke of "one thing" he seemed to see the young ruler was allowing material possessions to stand between him and God. In that sense, our lack of dedication may be due to some particular weakness—some "one thing" that keeps us from seeing ourselves as we are, and changing our way of life. One's craze for popularity, another's desire for power, envy of the neighbors (called "keeping up with the Jones"), or pure ego. These "one things" and more like them, can be the particulars that keep many of us from serving Christ as we should.

My mother used to say, "A little thing may keep you out of heaven." She knew it wasn't "little" if it did that—but she wanted me to realize something I gave scant attention perhaps deserved prayer and work. Don't allow "one thing" to damn your soul.