“Jesus looked him hard in the eye—and loved him! He said, "There's one thing left: Go sell whatever you own and give it to the poor. All your wealth will then be heavenly wealth. And come follow me."
The man's face clouded over. This was the last thing he expected to hear, and he walked off with a heavy heart. He was holding on tight to a lot of things, and not about to let go”. Mark 10:21-22 Message Bible
In Matthew 19:20 the young man asked Jesus, “……All these things I have kept from my youth. What do I still lack?”
He’s still missing something.
Perhaps the emptiness drove him to ask the question in the first place.
Jesus knows all about this man’s condition. He knows why he is uneasy, feeling empty, restless and unhappy.
Jesus responds in v.21, with what I think is one of the most amazing verses in the entire Bible: “Jesus looked at him and loved him.”
What does that mean? I think it means that Jesus looked right through the outward financial and spiritual success of this man .…and He saw right through to the man’s unhappiness and lack of peace.
Jesus makes His diagnosis: This man is suffering from a divided heart.
Part of this man wants a little bit of God. A little bit of eternity.
But not so much that it would cause him to make a radical change.
Every now and again he gets to thinking about what will happen after death or why he’s feeling empty inside, and he recognizes his need to think about spiritual things.
But the other part of his heart wants to be a man of the world. Free to chart his own course and satisfy his own desires and do the things that everyone else seems to be doing.
And this is what I consider the most common sin among Christians today.
MOST COMMON SIN: THE DIVIDED HEART
You see, those who waver back and forth between God and the world – who want to be religious and also a man or woman of the world – are destined to be unhappy.
Because that “little bit of God” is just enough to bother their conscience so that they can no longer sin with a whole heart. For when they do, they’re hounded by the nagging question: “What does this look like in God’s eyes?”
But on the other hand, they cannot pray with a whole heart either. They can never know the joy and peace of being one with God in close fellowship.
A little bit of God is a dangerous thing, because something begins to bore down inside of people and make them restless. It was true for this man, and it’s true for you and me as well.
Having a divided heart makes you a half-hearted Christian.