What do chocolate chips have to do with giving away your possessions?
“The rich young ruler said to Him. If you will be perfect, go and sell what you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven: and come and follow me. But when the young man heard that, he went away sorrowful: for he had great possessions.” Matthew 19:21-22
For the longest time in Africa there were no chocolate chips. We cut up imported candy bars to put in cookie dough. I had baked some chocolate chip cookies one day to serve an American. This person wanted to share the cookies with the village children who were passing the house, and so gave them all away.
As the children left, they plucked out the chocolate chips and tossed them to the ground. They chattered. “White people are strange. They like to eat ants and add sugar to their biscuits.”
At first seeing my scattered chips on the ground, I was upset. Then I started laughing. Living without chocolate chips wasn’t a giant sacrifice in life. It was a greater challenge to live without electricity and running water.
God always used those lessons to remind me. “Are you willing to give it up for me?”
Since I’ve been living in the States I’ve been enjoying certain foods, clothes, and shoes. I’m getting used to running water, electricity, phones and computers, and getting attached to my car and home.
Last weekend when I saw the bag of chocolate chips in my refrigerator, the Lord reminded me again. “Would you be willing to give them up.”
I laughed. “Yes, Lord.”
If the day comes that I’m so attached to possessions that I won’t let them go, maybe it’s time to do a spiritual check-up on my relationship with the Lord.
How about you? The rich young ruler couldn’t surrender his possessions as Christ asked. Would you surrender things in your life or even your life, if the Lord asked you?
I’ve learned the hard way. If we hold on to something so tightly, maybe even a plate of chocolate chip cookies, it might get taken away.