13Someone in the crowd said to him, “Teacher, tell my brother to divide the inheritance with me.” 14Jesus replied, “Man, who appointed me a judge or an arbiter between you?” 15Then he said to them, “Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; life does not consist in an abundance of possessions.” 16And he told them this parable: “The ground of a certain rich man yielded an abundant harvest. 17He thought to himself, ‘What shall I do? I have no place to store my crops.’ 18“Then he said, ‘This is what I’ll do. I will tear down my barns and build bigger ones, and there I will store my surplus grain. 19And I’ll say to myself, “You have plenty of grain laid up for many years. Take life easy; eat, drink and be merry.”’ 20“But God said to him, ‘You fool! This very night your life will be demanded from you. Then who will get what you have prepared for yourself?’ 21“This is how it will be with whoever stores up things for themselves but is not rich toward God.” (Luke 12:13 – 21)
Today, we continue our consideration of the discipline of stewardship. I am sure that most, if not all of us agree that the possessions we are blessed with ultimately belong to God. However, a problem often emerges because we very easily slide into “ownership mode”, where we act as if we are the ultimate owner of our possessions; instead of “stewardship mode”, where we recognize God as the ultimate owner. The temptation is very strong partly because possessions are a great signal of our level of success and status. However, it is very clear which mode gives glory to God.
We are not immune to the kind of greed exhibited by the rich man in the parable, and this is not only a “rich man’s disease” or necessarily about financial or physical assets. Therefore, pay very careful attention to the caution Jesus proclaimed in Luke 12:15: “Watch out!”
On one level, the rich man in the parable appears to be engaging in “sensible” forward planning. Where does he go wrong, and how could we do the same?
April 5, 2019 at 11:08 am
All he saw was himself. No thanks to God for his generous bounty. He did not think of others or sharing or even making use of his store to work his crop further. Selfish thinking is not God’s way. I am sorry when others are robbed of their bling but not if their main aim is to overdress in vanity. We only need so much to live comfortably but God first and last each day.
April 5, 2019 at 11:24 am
The rich man went wrong when he decided to store his excess for himself instead of sharing the excess.
I remember telling someone that I ever became wealthy, I would provide for all my mom’s financial needs but never give her a lump sum of money. I joked that she had such a generous heart that she would find people in need and give it all away, and end up with nothing for herself. Even if she is never blessed with financial excess, I know God is blessing her in other ways because she gives God glory with her selflessness.
I sincerely believe that it is my God given responsibility to bless others when God blesses me. Even in my time of need, if I feel that I have a little “extra”, I have no problem sharing with a co-worker or family member that has a sincere need. I think this is what God expects of me, and I will always obey the call to give and share when I can, for as long as God lays it on my heart to.
Helping people in need, whether with my time or my occasional “excess” from a bonus from work, is something I feel called to do. Even though I didn’t start off thinking, “My actions are going to bring glory to God”, I get comfort in knowing that they do. I don’t ever want to be like the rich man.
April 5, 2019 at 4:09 pm
Amen to comments!
I was brought up to share even if you don’t have.
From an East Indian Muslim home we would go to the neighbors to give food for Eid but other than that it was customary when someone visits you to offer even if it was your last.
I hear a friend of mine, strong Catholic, fasts and churchgoer always says he will do this when he wins the lotto.
I don’t think we have to wait to be rich
There is always enough to give.
But some rich people think like that man in the scripture but of course there are some who may not be rich but successful who share like Norman.
That’s why you are so blessed.
April 5, 2019 at 5:04 pm
The rich man went wrong when he did not recognize God as having provided all he had. He thought that a satisfied happy life was to eat & drink. He treasured material things above God & did not look to God for guidance. He seemed to not consider sharing with others.
Keeping close to God at all times, knowing how weak we can be, depending on God, praying about everything, reflecting God’s glory, to others by our actions & words, being aware of how much we need His love, wisdom & guidance, is absolutely necessary. Treasuring God, Loving God & not material things.