Give Up Everything?

This coming Sunday’s gospel ends with a statement that will shock you: “Anyone of you who does not renounce all his possessions cannot be my disciple.” Another translation says, “None of you can be my disciple unless you give up everything you have.” (Luke 14:33)

This is one of the hardest things we are asked to do. We work hard for years to get to a certain lifestyle. If we lose our job, we have friends praying for us so we don’t lose everything. Our culture dictates to us that we need more and more and more. There’s absolutely no end in sight. Many of us hoard our belongings and don’t want to get rid of them so we save them for years knowing we will never use them.

How are we to do this? I invite you to leave a comment and let me know your thoughts on this. It’s a worthwhile discussion to have. St. Ignatius said this: “The only reason to have or keep an attachment to something or somebody is if it’s in the service, honor, and glory of God.” (my paraphrase). So how can you keep everything so that statement is true for you?

God Bless and please leave your comments below.




About Rich Vosler

I was in the mortgage business for 18 years. One of the roles I really enjoyed there was a coach. I also had my own coach for 4 years and when my company restructured I decided to start my own business as a Certified Life Coach. That was in 2006. Since then I've added Wellness Coach to my resume. I'm also a single father raising 9 children. My wife passed away in 2005 after a short battle with cancer.
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8 Responses to Give Up Everything?

  1. Sam Michaels says:

    Hi Rich
    Great tough question my friend. That verse is probably the hardest or at least
    one of the hardest to understand. We hear all our life that we can’t take it with us,
    it’s more blessed to give than to receive etc. I watched my Wonderful Mom & Dad
    live this kind of life which I am so Grateful. I try to live this way but it’s not easy, it is easier @ 68 plus all I have gone through the last 11 Months. Rich, I really really get a huge Buzz when I am able to Encourage someone to use their God Given Talents. To God be the Glory. I Believe God permitted me to get a new Heart 12-30-12 to continue to be a “Difference Maker” which I will do as long as I can
    talk or smile.
    Thanks Rich for all you do on our Success Calls, you are truly a Huge “Difference Maker” my friend.
    Make it a Great Life as you continue to play the good positive life forward.

    • Rich Vosler says:

      Sam, you have a great new perspective on this being that you’ve been given a new lease on life. It’s comforting to hear you say that even at 68 it can be a struggle. Thank you my friend.

  2. tony panico says:

    I am in a somewhat unique position. We lost everything we owned back in April due to a home fire so now we are trying to decide what to replace. Good question , right ?
    I find my need very much diminished since I began following St. Ignatius way.

    When you look at the list of things we lost compiled by the insurance company you begin to realize the truth that our needs are very small as compared to our appetite.
    We actually waste much of our time energy and gold holding on to things we don’t need or use.

    I think one of the blessings of getting older is you don’t have the energy or the strength to keep carrying the load so we downsize. What a great Idea ! It is funny but I find my self asking God every time we buy something ” do we really need this today” ? Not a bad Idea for everyday life..

    Ask you homeowners Insurance company for and inventory file and do you own inventory I bet you will be as surprised as we were at how much stuff you have that you will never use. Let God be your guide instead of you trying to be God !


    • Rich Vosler says:

      Tony, you too have a very interesting perspective on this. It sounds like God is using this situation to instruct you on some things. Thankfully you’re open minded enough to realize that. That’s the difference between negative and positive people. Positive people are open to see how God will work through their struggles. It truly is a gift when you can realize that!

  3. ConfidentiAl says:

    It is suggested that one must renounce all of their possessions, assuming they have possessions at the proposed time of the act(s) of renouncement. Some of what we have to give is not all physical things, we can give our time and energy in faith as these possessions too are not endless resources on earth and hold value on earth. The suggestion is that of future acts of renouncement as a matter of faithfulness. Further, renouncement here is of free will, in faith. Timeline to act on renouncement is not said to be immediate, nor must renouncement be all at one time. In faith, one is to ponder this through in our Christian life and renounce our possessions gradually; until end-of-life on earth such that so we are ready to join God in heaven. There is no haste demanded. We may seek peace and God’s wisdom in faith with this act of renouncement as it is an act of giving. As Christians we may give with an open heart and mind in the name of God and feel God’s love in each caring act of giving. Thus, in the end of life on earth, it is perfectly possible to renounce all possessions before departure for heaven. If we live a life of giving in a Christian way, all of our worldly possessions, we may be judged for acting consistently in fact, in our Christian life in honor and service to God during our time on earth, renouncing our possessions though life in gifts and other faithful means.

    • Rich Vosler says:

      Interesting point of view Al, as always. I never thought of possessions being non-material but certainly that’s true. The other thing I need to ponder more is the timeline. You’re right; He doesn’t say “immediately”. So it could be a process that takes you’re whole life to finish. Great thoughts my friend. Thanks for sharing.

  4. Joanne says:

    I don’t know if it is so much the possessions themselves, as our attachment to them. Things should hold no meaning in our lives. They are physical, not spiritual. I think it points to what is important. Things are nothing. In reality, they hold no true value. God knows what is in your heart. What do you strive for? What is the burning inside of you to build in your life? Is it to earn more or to be closer to God? Or is it to own more? You can’t have both. One has to be the center of who you are.
    I wonder if the message is simple, instead of complex– We don’t need things. Don’t make possesions your goal…bigger, better, more. Your heart should hold no strings on to these physical things. There should be only one true desire, one true goal and that is to get closer to God.
    Of course we need certain things, in this life. We like nice cars and homes. I think that is all okay. We live in the world. But, we should have no attachment to them. In another words, be untouched if they were gone tomorrow. They mean nothing. The only attachment we should have is doing God’s Will.
    I think the verse has more to do with what is most important in your heart…a yearning for more possessions or a yearning for God. He knows the difference.

    • Rich Vosler says:

      Joanne you are right on. The attachment is what gets us in trouble. Ignatius called it a “disordered attachment”. But making God your center is what’s paramount. One true desire, one true goal, and that is God. One true attachment–doing God’s will! Well said. I love it. Thanks for your contribution.

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