Parables Part 5 - Build Bigger Barns?
Luke 12:13-21, “Then one from the crowd said to Him, “Teacher, tell my brother to divide the inheritance with me.” But He said to him, “Man, who made Me a judge or an arbitrator over you?” And He said to them, “Take heed and beware of covetousness, for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of the things he possesses.” Then He spoke a parable to them, saying: “The ground of a certain rich man yielded plentifully. And he thought within himself, saying, ‘What shall I do, since I have no room to store my crops?’ So he said, ‘I will do this: I will pull down my barns and build greater, and there I will store all my crops and my goods. And I will say to my soul, “Soul, you have many goods laid up for many years; take your ease; eat, drink, and be merry.”’ But God said to him, ‘Fool! This night your soul will be required of you; then whose will those things be which you have provided?’ “So is he who lays up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God.”
Jesus told this parable in response to a covetous man who wanted his brother to split an inheritance with him. The basics of the parable are pretty clear, this person was wealthy, he didn’t know what to do with his wealth, so he built bigger barns and assumed he would be in good shape for years to come and could now take it easy. God calls this position foolish, the man dies that night and then where will all his goods go? Jesus drives the point home with the closing comment that his is the fate of the person who lays up treasures for themselves and is not rich towards God.
The first question then is, is it wrong to have a savings account and to be financially well off? Well, of course not, I don’t think Jesus is saying that at all. Now, if we put our trust in money and do not put our trust in God, that is when we have problems. When we think our money will save us, provide us security, or give us some advantage, particularly in the afterlife, then we are fools. 1 Timothy 6:10 says, “For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil, for which some have strayed from the faith in their greediness, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.” Notice that money is not the root of evil, it is the love of money that is the root of all kinds of evil. People who love money tend to stray from the faith and cause themselves sorrows that are unnecessary. So how do we avoid loving money? Great question I am glad you asked.
First, we place our faith in God through Jesus Christ. When Jesus is our Savior there is nothing that can separate us from God’s love (Romans 8:37-39). Additionally, God promises to provide for all our needs (Philippians 4:19), and we are even encouraged to pray for our daily bread in the Lord’s prayer (Matthew 6:9-13). Placing our faith in God means we are not trusting in money, other people, our own talents, or anything else for our security. Putting God first, and His kingdom first (Matthew 6:33) is the key to not loving money and not straying from the faith.
Second, we need to put money in its proper place. I, like many others, like to have some money in the bank account, and have all the bills paid, and so forth. But the reality is that God does not give us money just for our own use. In order to put money in its proper place there are a couple of things we need to recognize.
First, all money, and everything else in our lives, comes from Him. James 1:17 teaches us that every good and perfect gift comes from God. This certainly speaks more of our spiritual blessings, but our physical blessings are definitely included.
Second, everything God gives us is meant to be used for His glory. Colossians 3:17 tells us, “And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.” So whatever we do, including what we do with our finances, is meant to be used for God’s glory.
Finally, God blesses us so we can bless others. 2 Corinthians 9:10 tells us that “he will provide and increase your resources and then produce a great harvest of generosity in you.” We are called to give cheerfully to the church of course (2 Corinthians 9:7), but we are also called to be generous with what God gives us towards others. How, when, how much, etc… are between you and the Lord, but we are told that whoever sows sparingly will reap sparingly and whoever sows bountifully will reap in kind (2 Corinthians 9:6).
When money has the wrong place in our lives, and we love it or trust it, then there will be consequences and sorrows that God does not want us to experience. However, when we recognize God as the source of everything in our lives, and we use everything in our lives, including our finances, as a tool to bring God glory, then money will have its proper place, and God will be in His proper place in our lives, as the One we trust and rely on.
Image Borrowed from – Fineartamerica.com