“Jesus looked at him and loved him. “One thing you lack,” he said. “Go, sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.” At this the man’s face fell. He went away sad, because he had great wealth” (Mark 10:21-22).

The story of the Rich Young Ruler is one of the saddest stories in the Bible because he had so much upside potential. He could have leveraged his resources, his network, and his energy for kingdom causes, but he spent it all on himself. He thought that was what would make him happy, but that was what made him miserable. It reveals that our greatest asset becomes our greatest liability if we don’t use it for God’s purposes. The Rich Young Ruler eventually became the Rich Old Ruler. I don’t know what fired across his synapses as he lay on his deathbed, but I have a hunch. It was the moment Jesus said, “Follow me.” Those words echoed in his ear until the day he died. It was the opportunity of a lifetime but he didn’t have the guts to go for it. He held his hand instead of doubling down on Jesus. The importance of going all in is best encapsulated in the parable of the bags of gold. The man who got one bag buried it in the ground. He immediately gave back to the master exactly what the master had given him. That’s not half bad in a recession. He broke even. Yet Jesus called him wicked. That seems like a bit of an overreaction, doesn’t it? I’d be tempted to play Peter and pull Jesus aside and tell him to dial it back a bit. But when I think Jesus is wrong, it reveals something wrong with me—usually a wrong priority or a wrong perspective. It means I’m missing the point. The man who buried his bag of gold wasn’t willing to gamble on God. He didn’t even ante up. And that’s the point of the parable: faith is pushing all your chips to the middle of the table. You can’t hedge your bet by setting aside one or two chips. Its all or nothing. And that’s what Jesus challenged the Rich Young Ruler to do. What about you?

Adapted from “All In” by Mark B