In Matthew 19, a rich young man approaches Christ with an important question. It is one we all have likely asked at some point in our lives. He asks, “What good thing shall I do, that I may have eternal life?”
Christ exhorts him to keep the commandments, specifically mentioning some of the Ten Commandments. However, this rich young man is also righteous. “All these things have i kept from my youth up,” he says. He then poses another, and perhaps more meaningful question to the Savior.
“What lack I yet?”
For the young man, Christ invited him to sell all of his possessions and follow Him. For you, the answer will likely be different. Each of us has weaknesses, rough edges that need smoothing to prepare us for eternal life. It is only through introspection, humility, and true intent that we can discover what we lack and earnestly work to improve.
However, there are a few common struggles that can be a good place to start. By reading through these thoughtful answers to the question “What lack I yet?”, you may be able to discern some areas of your life you can turn over to Jesus Christ.
“A willingness to act.”
At the heart of change is action. To change, we must act on promptings and revelation from God. For most, these actions require sacrifice and often pain. Actions that are easy and don’t ask anything of us don’t generally change our hearts and fortify our testimonies. It can hurt to act.
So, it’s natural that we hesitate or have deep, real feelings of fear, mistrust, or grief. Building true intent, to embrace God’s will and act upon it, is a process that leads to lasting change and spiritual strength.
“Time consecrated to the Lord.”
In our busy world, there are many good things to do. There are also many distractions, especially when it comes to entertainment and technology. We can accomplish many good things and experience comfort in the unintentional hours spent on things of no consequence, but we can do so much more and feel so much more when our time is consecrated to the Lord.
We don’t need to go from one extreme to another, harming ourselves and our mental and emotional stability to simply do more we think the Lord wants us to do. It’s about finding balance and questioning how certain activities may be ruling us, instead of the other way around.
“Charity for yourself.”
It can be so easy to extend charity to others. However, we often lack charity for ourselves. Do you believe Christ is offering you mercy right now for your sins? Do you hope in promised blessings and actively work towards them? Do your thoughts reflect kindness and grace towards your own weaknesses, whether they be figments of shame or true struggles we need to work on?
Christ commands us to love our enemies. If you are your own worst enemy and treat yourself as such, it’s important to remember this commandment.
“A gentle response.”
It is good and right to defend the Lord. We should strive to stand in holy places and share the gospel light with others. However, the general way we communicate with each other online and in public forums has become toxic, even if we begin with righteous intentions. It is important we always seek to emulate Christ, who was gentle and meek. In the moments Christ did defend himself and his mission with passion, it was always in situations where he has stewardship and showed constraint.
How do you talk to people who are opposed to our beliefs? How do you talk to people online? Have you ever felt out of control or full of anger? How do you respond to those situations? These questions can help you discover if developing meekness might be fulfilling in your life.
“Bravery to serve.”
In these latter days, the Lord is asking more of us than ever before when it comes to tending to his flock. Ministering and changes to our church schedules are all designed to give us more time to love as Jesus Christ would. Ideas may be in your mind of how to serve and who to serve. Yet, we often lack the bravery to serve without hesitation and fear.
Find courage through spiritual inspiration. The moment you have any good though, don’t hesitate to act. Do it then, no matter how uncomfortable or out of place it may seem. Do not give yourself time to talk yourself out of it or come up with a list of reasons why your kind thought is weird, too hard, or unnecessary.
These are just a few ideas to help you start discovering what you lack. This is meant to be an enriching experience, where you can learn how much God wants you to improve and how willing he is to consecrate your efforts.