Needful Things and the Folly of Greed – My Daily Bread!
Our call to savor our God above all things is taken from Luke 12: 15 which Read:
“Then He said to them, Watch Out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; a man’s life does not consist of the abundance of his possessions.”
Jesus spoke these words as a warning against having the wrong attitude about accumulating wealth or desiring to get rich in this life. Since Jesus did not waste words talking about unimportant or trivial things when He spoke, He must have felt this warning about greed was needed to those looking to follow Him. The point Jesus was making is further brought out in the parable of the rich fool in the verses that follow.
But first, what is the definition of greed? The Online Free Dictionary defines it as “an excessive desire to acquire or possess more than what one needs or deserves, especially with respect to material wealth.” Wikipedia Online defines greed as “an excessive desire to possess wealth, goods, or abstract things of value with the intention to keep it for one’s self”. Now with these definitions tucked in the back of our minds, let’s get to Jesus’ parable about the rich fool.
Luke 12: 16-20 reads “The ground of a certain rich man produced a good crop. He thought to himself, ‘What shall I do? I have no place to store my crops.’ Then he said, ‘This is what I’ll do. I will tear down my barns and build bigger ones, and there I will store all my grain and my goods. And I’ll say to myself, “You have plenty of good things laid up for many years. Take life easy, eat, drink and be merry.”’ 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? ‘ This is how it will be with anyone who stores up things for himself but is not rich toward God.”
Right away we can see at least two problems with the rich fool that meet the greed definitions above: namely (1) an excessive concern about getting more than what he needed and (2) intentions to benefit just himself. The man in this parable is already rich before he is blessed with abundance over and above his current riches. Nowhere does the parable indicate that he planned to give God His portion, or help the needy or poor; both things we are commanded by God to do.
So even though he was rich by the world’s standards, he was poor toward God and the things that God was concerned with. How unwise considering that God held the power over if the rich fool lived or died and always had. His priorities and concerns allowed him to put his trust in what he had accumulated and forget who was in control of his very life!
Saints this is why Jesus gave such a strong warning in the verse above. This is a real trap that we can fall into if we pursue riches and wealth and are not rich towards God. We too could forget our God, the source of our Hope! That is also why our Lord who knows our needful things (Matthew 6: 8) has graciously safeguarded our hearts by promising to “meet all your needs, according to His glorious riches in Christ Jesus”. (Philippians 4:19) God wants us to trust and rely on Him, not ourselves or riches and possessions. God does not want us in the excessive pursuit of anything other than Him!
And if we find ourselves blessed with more than we need in this present age, here is a trustworthy command by Paul that we would do well to heed: “Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment. Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share. In this way they will lay up treasure for themselves as a firm foundation for the coming age, so that they can take hold of the life that is truly life”. (1Timothy 6:17-19)
Copyright© 2011 Colleen Holton All Rights Reserved.