“The land of a rich man produced plentifully, and he thought to himself, what shall I do, for I have nowhere to store my crops?’ And he said, ‘I will do this: I will tear down my barns and build larger ones, and there I will store all my grain and my goods. And I will say to my soul, “Soul, you have ample goods laid up for many years; relax, eat, drink, be merry.”’ But God said to him, Fool! This night your soul is required of you, and the things you have prepared, whose will they be?’ So is the one who lays up treasure for himself and is not rich toward God.” Luke 12:16-21 [ESV]
This one hit both at home in my personal life as well as my leadership role at church. Our world and our planning sense (which itself is not a bad thing) can convince us that this a good way to operate; to set up a nest egg for retirement or ensure you can maintain a standard of living (when hard times hit) we have allowed ourselves to enjoy. One of the things that stood out to me is how many times the man in the parable said “My”.
- My Crops
- My Barns
- My Grain
- My Goods
Additionally, he also says “I” 8 times (in the Greek). This points to an ingrained selfishness. The man is not concerned with how to use his wealth wisely. He is not trying to serve God or help other people. He is not even concerned in having a richer and fuller life for himself. He is concerned only with self-indulgence. God calls this man a “Fool!”. The really stupid thing was the rich man’s self-assurance that the future was in his control.
Laying up treasure here on earth is an indication that we feel possessive of what ‘WE have EARNED’…that somehow it is something for us to decide what to do with for ourselves. I also feel like the person who is given a lot, yet only continues to extend 10% to the Lord, is a ‘check-boxer’ and the heart of that position is really no better.
As a man whose life hangs by a thread and who may be called upon at any time to give account of himself, I would be a fool if I relied on material things. I would also be a fool to not focus on the riches awaiting me in Heaven.
This devotion causes me to take a second look at where we (Marianne and I) position our reliance…is it on the things (money and possessions) of this world or do we demonstrate a heart of ‘open-handedness’…acting as a conduit for God’s resources He has given us the responsibility of managing?