Life is full of times where letting go of the past is the only way to move forward. Christians understand this almost more than anybody as we’ve all had to make the decision to let go of our former lives, most times also having to let go of family and friends in order to follow Christ. However, we are not perfect. Sometimes, we do not let go completely of who we once were, and when times get tough, we immediately look to those unhealthy attachments for comfort rather than the peace that God provides.
The real question is why, after coming to an understanding of the truth, do we still hold onto these vain attachments? As we look through scripture, it is very clear that the things of this world serve no purpose in where we are going, or what brings about true purpose. Psalm 69:6-9 says, “Those who trust in their wealth and boast in the multitude of their riches, None of them can by any means redeem his brother, Nor give to God a ransom for him. For the redemption of their souls is costly, and it shall cease forever that he should continue to live eternally, and not see the Pit.” The riches that we have in this life cannot do anything for us when it comes to the salvation of the soul. Jesus also asks the question in Matthew 16:26, “For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul?” Jesus is making the point that I can continue to hold onto the pleasures this life has to offer, but if I will do nothing for the soul, then it is meaningless. If I am looking to be with Christ, then I must be willing to deny myself, letting go of my love for material things, take up the cross, and follow Him.
Letting go of these things is not always easy, though. They serve no purpose, but we become so attached to them that letting go feels like letting go of a piece of ourselves. What makes it easier to let go of these physical things is to fill the gap that is left open by these material cares. It is not enough to let go, but something else has to take place. Romans 6:21-22 calls to mind the type of people we once were, but now we have become slaves of God, and have our “fruit to holiness” making the point that the things we do must lead to being righteous. We cannot just simply abstain from evil, but fill our life with good. Titus 2:14 speaks of Christ purifying us for “His own special people, zealous for good works.” If I am not someone who is zealous for good works, then I can’t be one who can let go of things. I have to be the type of person that wants more, and searches for more in life.
We are guaranteed in life to face hardships. We all have demons in our life that we have to face. The only question that remains is how are we going to face those demons? Will I still hold onto cares of this world, cares that will not profit me anything? Or will I let go, choosing rather to side with the strength God can provide by doing the work He has for us? We all have that choice to make, and this very choice could be what separates us from Heaven. Let us be sure to not dwell on the riches this world has, but take every opportunity to be a faithful child of God.