Have You Written Your Last Will and “Estimate?”: A Lesson in Planning for Spiritual Growth! (Luke 18:18; 20-24)

What are we going to do with a blog article entitled ‘Last Will and Estimate’? We can tell you it has nothing to do with estate planning and who gets what after you check out of your earth experience.

Our message in this blog is a check-up from the neck up. It’s about the estimated value of the decisions and choices we make. And the story we’re going to use as an example of the last will and estimate comes from Luke’s Gospel 18:18; 20-24. It’s about a rich young man who gets a reality check from Jesus. Here’s the story from the traditional, literal perspective — although we’ll be paraphrasing Luke’s Gospel to bring 21st Century relevance to it:

A certain young executive approached Jesus and asked, “What must I do to inherit eternal life?”

You know the drill,” Jesus said. “Do not commit adultery; do not murder; do not steal; do not give false testimony; honor your parents; do not cheat on your income taxes; do not put recyclables in with the regular garbage; and do not text while driving.”

I do all of these things,” said the generation Y Millenial.

When Jesus heard this he said, “Yeah, and you probably think you walk on water too, right! Look, you seem to have a lot of things going for you. But there’s one more thing you’ve got to add to you resume. If you truly want eternal life, you’ve got to sell everything you have – that includes your designer cloths, Mercedes, 501K, Wall Street portfolio, and Lady Ga Ga and Michael Jackson album collections – and then give all of the proceeds to the poor.”

When the rich young man heard this he said, “No way! I’ve worked hard for all of this. Besides, I own my possessions. They don’t own me. I give to charities. I tithe. Why, just last week I bought Girl Scout cookies. You’re saying I have to give up everything?”

Jesus nodded.

I’m sorry. I can’t do that,” the rich young man said. “I’m generous to a fault. I don’t see why I have to give up everything.”

While there’s some truth to this story, it is grossly misleading. Worldly riches can, and often do, interfere with our spiritual growth. But that’s only a superficial version of what the story is about.

The literal version of the story implies that worldly things like living in a nice home, driving a nice car, enjoying a golf or tennis membership, being well-portfolioed, wearing a respectful amount of bling, owning time shares, spending weekends at the beach or mountains – make it difficult for us to get to heaven.

Traditional churches and religious cults have used this scripture to raise funds and separate people from their money for hundreds of years. The idea is to make people—rich and poor alike—think that having material things is a barrier to getting into heaven.

It’s not things that keep us out of heaven; it’s our attachments to those things that’s the issue. But the real issue is deeper than that.

Let us explain. As Unity ministers, our perspective of this whole conversation between Jesus and the rich young man sees it occurring between our ears. This is a story about self-talk. The dialogue is an internal one. From a metaphysical perspective, Jesus and the rich young man represent qualities within us.

The adultery, murder, and false witness mentioned in verse 20 refer to error thoughts, words, and actions. Here’s what this passage says from a metaphysical perspective:

The rich young man stands for material thoughts fixated on worldly attachments and over-consumption.

Jesus represents the Christ within us, our I Am Nature.

Eternal life means attaining Christ Consciousness.

Adultery means saying you love spiritual thoughts but live your life based on material thoughts.

Murder means turning divine order into diddlysquat order.

The poor refers to materialistic thoughts and beliefs.

Bearing false witness means pretending we’re on a spiritual path but loving materialism instead.

Honoring our parents means applying traditional spiritual truths that have stood the test of time.

Selling all we have means moving from a material consciousness to a spiritually attuned one.

So, you see, from a metaphysical perspective, this passage has nothing to do with things ‘out here.’ It is not talking about liquidating  assets or giving all we have to the poor.

It means we can have a giving consciousness AND a nice home, AND drive a nice car, AND enjoy a golf or tennis membership, AND be well-portfolioed, AND wear a respectful amount of bling, AND own time shares, AND spend weekends at the beach or mountains.

It means we can have things AND be a spiritual person. The metaphysical message in this passage is about our thinking. We will achieve inner peace, happiness, and prosperity when we move from a material consciousness to a spiritually attuned one.

It’s about choosing spiritual inclinations over material ones (not bearing false witness).

It’s about staying true to spiritual truths (not committing adultery).

It’s about applying eternal truths that have stood the test of time (honoring our parents).

It’s about transforming materialistic thoughts and beliefs (the poor) into Christed thoughts and beliefs.

The last will – which is our last thought, last word, and last action – is the best estimate of our spiritual potential.

Our ability to transform all of our material thoughts (the poor) into their spiritual equivalents is the best estimate of our spiritual growth.

About the Authors: Combine a flair for the dramatic, a deep understanding of metaphysics combined with the teachings of Jesus, and a zest for ministry, and you have defined the dynamic duo who are at the heart of The Metaphysical Website.Revs. Drs. Bil and Cher Holton are co-ministers of a growing church in Durham, NC, prolific authors, and dynamic speakers. Learn more by visiting them at www.TheMetaphysicalWebsite.com

About Cher & Bil Holton

Since 1984, Cher & Bil Holton have been co-owners of The Holton Consulting Group, Inc., helping corporate and association clients enhance bottom-line results using cutting edge employee engagement. Their keynote speeches, turbo-training, and coaching sessions are practical, grounded in research, and lots of fun to boot! They are prolific authors, and take "Indiana Jones" vacations to continually stretch their limits!
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