Focal Passage: 2 Chron. 35:20-27
One of my favorite traditions at family reunions is going on Saturday morning for breakfast to The Biscuit Factory in High Point. The fast food restaurant is famous for its homemade biscuits and for growing the waists of citizens in that city. On a recent visit, all 10 of us lined up at the counter and gave our orders to the cashier. I was last in line because I pay the bill. I had purchased a newspaper on my way into the restaurant, and when our biscuits were ready, I laid my paper on the counter, picked up the two trays of biscuits and took them to our tables. I went immediately back to get my paper, and, as I walked toward the counter, I saw a man in line pick up my paper, fold it, and put it under his arm. I said, “Sir, the paper you just picked up is mine. I laid it on the counter while I took our biscuits to our table.”
He replied, “Buddy, when you lay it down, you give it up.” I thought he was joking. He was not. Observing that he was bigger than me, I practiced one of my cardinal rules for staying alive. I said, “Youíre right.”
Our lesson on “letting go” reminds me of the words of the paper-stealer. “When you lay it down, you give it up.” This is what Paul meant when he wrote to the Romans: “We were buried with Him in order that we may live a new life” (6:4, NIV).
In becoming a Christian, we laid down an old life and began a process of giving up those things that characterized that old life. This “letting go” was not a sad but a joyous experience. There were things that we had to cast aside and put behind us in order to move into our new life. And if we follow in obedience, the process of letting go continues daily. The Christian life is not something Christ gives us. It is something he makes us.
The late A.W. Tozer lists the marks of a spiritual person in his book That Incredible Christian. The one mark that impresses me most is: “The spiritual person desires to be holy rather than happy.”
To be holy means there are other things a Christian cannot be. It wasnít just money to which Jesus referred when he said to the rich, young ruler, “Go and sell all and come, follow me.”