Sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. (Luke 18:22)

AN OPTICAL ILLUSION can fool us into seeing something that doesn’t really exist. Optical illusions can also trick us into perceiving that something is different from reality. One well-known example is an image that seems to be two face-to-face silhouettes—or is it a vase?

People like those we find in today’s passage can fool us too. When we see those who are religious and morally correct, we may be fooled into thinking that they deserve a place in heaven. But if their hearts haven’t been washed with the blood of Jesus and renewed by the Holy Spirit, they have no such place. Their good behavior is deceiving.

Others may be fooled when they see people who willingly sacrifice their wealth, time, talents, and even their lives for the gospel. Those Christ-followers may be perceived as losers, but they are rich. Jesus told the rich man to “sell everything . . . and you will have treasure in heaven” (Luke 18:22). Once again, perception differs from reality.

Maybe you are living an optical illusion, projecting an image of good behavior and moral conduct, yet knowing your heart isn’t right with God. Stop fooling yourself and others. Cry out to God for mercy. He will transform your life into the image of Jesus and give you treasure in heaven. That’s reality. No fooling!

Follow Jesus and let Him be seen in you.

Kathern Nemec and her husband served in Argentina for twenty-seven years as missionaries. Now residing in Ohio, both are active in their local church.