18 A certain ruler asked him, “Good teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?”
19 “Why do you call me good?” Jesus answered. “No one is good—except God alone. 20 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.’”
21 “All these I have kept since I was a boy,” he said.
22 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.”
23 When he heard this, he became very sad, because he was very wealthy. 24 Jesus looked at him and said, “How hard it is for the rich to enter the kingdom of God! 25 Indeed, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of God.”
26 Those who heard this asked, “Who then can be saved?”
27 Jesus replied, “What is impossible with man is possible with God.”--Luke 18
I have heard this text taught as an admonition against wealth. I have seen ministers shake their head as a warning to parishioners who wouldn’t open their wallets a little wider. I have witnessed parishioners use this text to justify themselves because, after all, being poor allowed them to pass through the needle’s eye just fine.
I think this text is about something bigger. Something more universal. I believe that Jesus was talking about, “change.”
The young man had followed the rules. He had jumped through the hoops. He had lived a good life...and, he was richly rewarded for his good life (or so the thinking of the day would have concluded). But here’s where Jesus throws a fly into the ointment. Living well is not enough. Following the rules is not enough.
Drawing closer to God requires change.
That may explain the outcry of those who heard this story first hand. “WHO THEN CAN BE SAVED?”
I know that I struggle with changing. I wrestle with letting go of old patterns, old relationships, old truths that no longer serve my well being. Perhaps you have some areas in your life that you have a hard time changing, too.
I take heart in Jesus’ reply to our crisis of faith, ““What is impossible with man is possible with God.”
I believe that is our call to prayer today. I also believe that is where tapping prayer can set us free and allow us to pass through that elusive needle’s eye.
Try and identify one area of your life that needs changing. There may be many issues to choose from:
- My relationship with a friend is killing me.
- I hate my job.
- I can’t quit smoking/eating/hurting myself.
- I’ve never prayed like this before.
You probably have something different that is keeping you from feeling peace. Choose one issue where you are particularly stuck, and give that issue a SUD from 0-10. Use the statement: “I can’t stop............” and fill in the blank. If you are new to tapping prayer, read this article first so that you can become familiar with how it works.
When you are ready to let God start making the impossible possible, please take responsibility for your participation in tapping prayer, and let’s pray:
Karate Chop: I’m sure this will come as no surprise to you, God, but I hate change...unless I’m in control of it. It’s uncomfortable to learn new patterns, be in new relationships, figure out new ways of doing things. I like the old ways...even if they’re killing me! Or hurting me. Or not serving my ability to be at peace with you and the people I love.
I need help.
I have a problem.
I’m addicted to the way I’ve always done things, and I need your intervention.
Even though I can’t stop..........I am deeply loved and completely accepted by God. Even though I am addicted to................I am held in God’s loving arms and cared for all time by the Divine. Even though I don’t want to stop...........I am deeply loved and completely accepted by God.
Eyebrow: I can’t stop........................
Outer eye: I have been....................for a long time. It’s what I’m comfortable with.
Under eye: Even if it makes me feel uncomfortable, I prefer to keep on............
Under nose: I can’t stop..................
Under lip: I can’t change.
Collarbone: Even though I can’t change I am deeply loved and completely accepted by God.
Underarms: I can’t quit...............
Wrists: I am hooked on....................
Top of head: Even though I can’t change, I am completely loved and deeply accepted by God.
Eyebrow: I wonder what I would lose if I changed?
Outer eye: Losing something sounds scary. I might be scared.
Under eye: I might lose my family or friends or job or...............
Under nose: I wonder how life would be different without................?
Under lip: What if the “different” wasn’t pleasing to me?
Collarbone: I like being in control.
Underarms: It feels like this......................is controlling me.
Wrists: I’m trapped by my inability/unwillingness to change.
Top of head: Even though I feel out of control, I am loved and respected and cherished by God.
Eyebrow: Maybe I could change.
Outer eye: Maybe God could control the things that I can’t control.
Under eye: I can never ever NEVER change.
Under nose: I can consider forgiving myself for becoming addicted to................
Under lip: I can consider forgiving anyone who has enabled me or is enabling me to continue..........................
Collarbone: Even though I can’t stop...................., God accepts me and calls me, “Beloved.”
Underarms: I have this habit.
Wrists: I am beloved by God. I can consider having compassion for myself.
Top of Head: Even though I can’t stop...................., I am deeply loved and completely accepted by God.
And take a deep breath.........I thank you God for being with me in the midst of my impossible addiction. I am grateful for the attention you have shown to my soul.
Check your SUD on the phrase: “I can’t stop.....................” Has anything shifted? Can you consider change in a new way? Are there any new issues attached to the original concern? What are the feelings connected to these new issues? If your SUD is at a 0-2 you are probably experiencing a new found peace, despite a “change” occurring within you! If your SUD is higher than a 2, try directing God’s healing toward the new issue, or add some new details to the above concern.Jesus didn’t reject the young man who was struggling with change. He gave him a recipe for liberation and allowed him to try it when he was ready. Jesus had compassion for the challenge the young man was facing. Jesus has compassion for the revolution of our soul that is required of us, in order for us to draw closer to God.
Check in next week for the TUESDAY TAP: Prayer tapping on forgiveness.