THE PITFALL OF GREED

(Luke 12:15) Then he said to them, “Watch out!  Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; life does not consist in an abundance of possessions.”

Jesus follows this statement of caution with the parable of the foolish rich man (verses 16-20).  He tells of a rich man whose fields yielded an unexpectedly abundant harvest.  His barns were inadequate to handle the harvest, so he tore them down and built bigger ones.  Here he is thinking he’s got it made, but his time was up, and he died that very night. 

Jesus concludes the parable in verse 21, “This is how it will be with whoever stores up things for themselves but is not rich toward God.  The message translates this verse, “That’s what happens when you fill your barn with self and not with God.”  Jesus often directs his teaching to the matter of focusing on material wealth rather than God. He knows our weaknesses, and how easily we can fall into the pitfall of greed.

Our culture is filled with the “I need more syndrome”.  We are continually trying to fill the bottomless pit of want.  Solomon warns us in Ecclesiastes 5:10, “Whoever loves money never has enough; whoever loves wealth is never satisfied with their income.” Jesus wants us to pursue the life that comes from trusting God with our needs.  Matthew 6:33, “But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.”

God offers us a better way.  By focusing our lives on him and trusting him with our needs, we can avoid the merry-go-round of greed.  We will be disappointed by spending our lives accumulating wealth and material possessions.  There is never enough to satisfy.  God’s way brings satisfaction.

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