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Matthew 19:16-22, Wishing to be Perfect

Key Verse

Jesus said to him, “If you wish to be perfect, go, sell your possessions, and give the money to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; then come, follow me.”
— Matthew 19:21-22

RCL Daily Devotion for Wednesday, October 2, 2019

RCL Daily Devotions written by Daniel D. Maurer from RCL Worship Resources (see more).


I was an excellent student in school, but only after I had entered high school. I think it had something to do with wanting to be superior in something other than many of my peers. I wasn’t particularly athletic, wasn’t super handsome, and didn’t have the best of everything.

But I could get good grades.

I got to feeling proud how smart I was and used it as a measuring stick to compare myself to others. I wanted a bit of perfection, at least in what I could exceed in.

Nobody’s perfect, of course. But I feel that Jesus’ thoughts in today’s reading were meant to raise that very point. We all seek to justify ourselves and ask how we can be deserving enough for God’s love. The point is that we cannot; it is simply a gift given to us.

How can striving to become perfect become an idol?


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Matthew 19:16-22

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