And He told them a parable, saying, “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.”
Coveting is the root of poverty, for if everyone let go of wanting more than they need, there would be enough for everyone. It is also the root of poverty not just physically but spiritually, for although this man had much, he would end up with nothing if he did not repent. This man could not take any of this stuff with him into eternal life.
Again it doesn’t mean we can’t have an abundance or can’t be financially blessed, but it’s what we do with abundance. Do we act like the man in this parable, worried about how we can store up for ourselves riches here on earth? Or are we dreaming of bringing the Kingdom, or the ways of Jesus, into this earth through Kingdom generosity?
Why do we want more? What is driving us as humans to want more? Maybe you do want to bless others; maybe you do want to build the church and further the Kingdom. That is so wonderful, but we are no different to the man in this story if we are saying to ourselves that we will give when we have more—because this will end up being religious justification for coveting. I wonder, if Jesus talked to us about our financial stewardship, what He would say?
Let’s heed the words of Jesus. Let’s allow God to survey our hearts this week as we pray and spend time with Him. How are we doing in the area of covetousness? How is our heart towards giving? For where our treasure is there our heart will also be. This man’s treasure was in himself. This is not a small thing or a little topic because Jesus, at the end of this parable, connects it to requiring of our soul.
The beautiful thing is that Jesus is being so kind to us. He is saying, “Let’s deal with the bigger issue so that, for each of us as humans, we can be fully alive.” Part of being fully alive is not letting money, greed or coveting rule our hearts—but rather living with Kingdom generosity.
// Pastor Josh Kelsey