The world we live in is essentially dedicated to material wealth. Most of us are pulled into the trap of constantly striving for a bigger house, newer car, better television, or more money in the bank to go on longer vacations. Of course, there’s nothing wrong with wanting to enjoy life or be more comfortable as you struggle through what may be a difficult existence. Material wealth seems to be the solution, but ultimately, as our Lord points out, true wealth is found elsewhere.
“Sell your possessions and give to charity; make yourselves money belts which do not wear out, an unfailing treasure in heaven, where no thief comes near nor moth destroys. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” Luke 12:33-34 (NASB)
Selling all your possessions and giving everything to charity may seem a bit extreme; however, I have to believe that is indeed the purest pursuit of real treasure. Nevertheless, it is also possible to remove your emotional and spirit depriving obsession with your possessions and refocus your priorities on serving others without actually taking a vow of poverty.
The Parable of the Rich Fool told by Jesus is a story about a rich man who had so much wealth he didn’t know what to do with it. Rather than sharing his wealth with others, he made the decision to find a new way to hoard his wealth.
And He told them a parable, saying, “The land of a rich man was very productive. And he began reasoning to himself, saying, ‘What shall I do, since I have no place to store my crops?’ Then he said, ‘This is what I will do: 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 many goods laid up for many years to come; take your ease, eat, drink and be merry.”’ But God said to him, ‘You fool! This very night your soul is required of you; and now who will own what you have prepared?’ So is the man who stores up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God.” Luke 12:16-21 (NASB)
Jesus is not teaching us to live a life devoid of material possessions; he is teaching us to be more concerned with others than we are for ourselves. The problem presented is not wealth – the problem is attitude about wealth. If we are thinking about our money more than we are thinking about God, we have lost our way. If we are more concerned with building wealth than we are with serving those around us, we have lost our way.
There’s nothing wrong with being wealthy. If your trust is in God and not your wealth, if your attitude toward your possessions is detached, if you are constantly looking for ways to share your wealth, you are moving in the right direction. If you consider it a treasure to give rather than receive, you have found the path to becoming rich toward God.
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