A Tale of Two Young Men

Instructing a Child's HeartThis is a short story of two young men with two radically different views of the same treasure. One thought he could not live without the treasure and one who knew could not live with it. This is the choice is still relevant: should you live for what you can see or for what you can’t see?

Moses, as a young man, was offered all the treasures of ancient Egypt. They were the best his world had to offer. Power, possessions, prestige — they were all his. All he had to do was be passive and enjoy the providential circumstances that were literally dropped in his lap. But he said no to all of that. Instead, he believed disgrace for the sake of Christ had greater value than Egypt’s treasure.

Many years later another powerful young man was offered the same choice as Moses. But he saw earthly wealth has something to hold on to. So when Jesus told him all he had to do to gain eternal life, heaven’s treasure was sell his possessions he was sad. The treasures of his world had greater value than the treasure of heaven. The unseen riches that Christ offered this young man were valuable beyond his wildest expectations. But unlike Moses, the eyes of his heart were blinded by the lure of immediate comfort and convenience. This rich young ruler, unlike Moses, was blinded by the treasures he could see, touch, and enjoy.

Parents, if you want your teenagers to see the value of what is unseen, you will need to model that for them. Listen to what Jesus says about the first being last. Jesus is teaching that being first should not be thought of as only being first in a sporting event. More broadly it means taking care of yourself and your needs first. This was the treasure the young man could not leave! He was sad because Jesus was asking him to give up his life of personal convenience and pleasure, his treasure. 

There was nothing to indicate the young man was living an immoral life, just the opposite. But he loved the comforts of his moral lifestyle first and he was unwilling to give it up.

Is this where you are? Do you love and live for the comfortable conveniences of life? Do you live as if God has an obligation to make you comfortable? Suppose you had to give it all up to do what Christ wanted you to do. Be honest with yourself – would it be a challenging decision? This is the dilemma that your teenagers face. It is important to be sensitive about the challenge facing them to give their lives to Christ.

Follow Moses and live for what is truly valuable. Live for treasure that lasts. Show those that you love what treasure that lasts — the treasure of knowing Jesus Christ.

Shepherd Press