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.”
Maybe some of us are thinking of our 401k or our savings. Does Jesus mean we can’t save or store up? Notice that Jesus doesn’t challenge the man’s existing store houses, but He challenges the destruction of something more than sufficient to store what this man and his family needed—making way for the building of bigger barns to store unnecessary amounts of this crop that ultimately this family would not need.
The man’s greed identified his security. His security was not in God but in stuff. The man speaks to his own soul and reveals what his goal or purpose is: he just wanted comfort for himself.
Coveting manifests in wanting more for self, even to the point where we will destroy what we currently have for the potential promise of more comfort. Marriages can break down by coveting—because the current discontent we have with our better half could lead us to something else and, in the process, destroy the blessing we currently live in. We might ruin friendships because of coveting by neglecting a current friend for the promise of what another person can give us. Some believers tear down the church they are in with gossip or comparison. You name it, we can ruin very good things if we let coveting into our hearts. In the end, we might look successful in the world’s eyes, but we will end up lonely—having much treasure in this earth but no treasure stored up in heaven.
This man was going to tear down in order to have more. What current blessings have we been tearing down? Are we in danger of destroying amazing blessings in our lives because we think more money or a different relationship or more stuff will make us happier?
May this parable stop us in our tracks. Let’s repent of coveting and become fully alive, content in what God has given us so we are free to bless others and build His Heavenly Kingdom.
// Pastor Josh Kelsey