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Have you ever read the parable of the man who finds a treasure in a field, sells all he has, and buys the field to have the treasure he found? It’s in Matthew 13 starting at verse 44. I used to think it would be an easy thing to do, the selling of everything to buy a treasure. It’s treasure, seemingly worth thousands more than everything owned! Short parable, simple application. Right? I think you know I’ve found that to not be quite an accurate assumption.
When I originally read this parable, I thought it meant you needed to be willing to give up anything materialistic if that’s what was needed to find the treasures of God. Over time, I saw its spiritual side, and thought it meant we should give up our sins and pitfalls like gossip or lust. Now again, I see a new depth. It’s a much harder one to go into. As I take inventory of my “everything” I can easily sell away the garbage I don’t want or need, like obvious sins. It’s easy to go to God and say “I don’t want to have lust. Buy it from me, I know you’ve paid that cost.” But that’s not everything. Do I dare sell to Him truths I’ve believed about Him? Do I dare to sell to Him what I believe is righteousness? Do I sell to Him what I think is faith, hope, and love? I haven’t got much left that I haven’t sold, so do I sell the things I know I don’t want to lose?
It seemed so foolish at first, to ask God to buy my belief in what Truth was. It was as though I was throwing away one of my biggest values. “Lord, take away the Truth I believe” seemed impossible to request. Saying “Lord, take away the Grace I believe” made me feel like I would totally lose grace. But the man in this parable sold everything. He traded it all in, and bought that field. And I traded everything in short of what I knew shouldn’t be let go of.
As we know, that field in the story had a treasure. One I imagine worth insanely more than the price of the field. That field held riches beyond that of what the man previously owned, and the man saw it. I saw those riches too, but I had to sell the things I had believed were worth most to me. I had to trade in the Truth I had in order to claim a more complete, richer, life giving Truth. It takes vulnerability to admit sins like those that go against the ten commandments or from things of Jesus’s sermon on the mount, but admitting to the possibility my core beliefs were wrong was much harder. Seeing the smallest of a twist on what I said to be absolute Truth hurt, especially when our values shape our lives and my life was misshapened. The best lies go unnoticed by everyone, and takes a long walk with God to find there’s a better treasure in another field.
Was what I believed wrong? Yes, but not entirely. It was moreso incomplete. It just couldn’t compare, and selling garbage absolutely won’t get me the money I need to claim the new field. It took the greater cost to buy that field, and it was so worth it. Now, I use the treasure I have bought to pay for a trash service instead.
I’m also looking, waiting patiently for the next field to buy. This isn’t a one time process, but a continual growth. So while I am so thankful for the new riches I get to hold onto for now, I’m equally excited for the next ones. As for you, do you have a field you see, but are afraid to buy? Are you willing to admit you don’t have the best or know best or live the best way? There’s a treasure in a field for you, and I encourage you to pay whatever the price is. Sell it all, and buy that land. It is worth it.