Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Someone in the crowd said to him, "Teacher, tell my brother to divide the inheritance with me." Jesus replied, "Man, who appointed me a judge or an arbiter between you?" Then he said to them, "Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; a man's life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions."

And he told them this parable: "The ground of a certain rich man produced a good crop. He thought to himself, 'What shall I do? I have no place to store my crops.' "Then he said, 'This is what I'll do. I will tear down my barns and build bigger ones, and there I will store all my grain and my goods. And I'll say to myself, "You have plenty of good things laid up for many years. Take life easy; eat, drink and be merry." '

"But God said to him, 'You fool! This very night your life will be demanded from you. Then who will get what you have prepared for yourself?'

"This is how it will be with anyone who stores up things for himself but is not rich toward God."
(Luke 12.13-21).

Here's the text I'm struggling with in advance of this coming Sunday and our continued tour of some stewardship principles in Scripture.

It's interesting that Jesus doesn't call into question the man's wealth. It seems the harvest had been gone and he'd been especially blessed with great produce. His problem didn't center in the accumulation of wealth but in the way he chose to use his wealth.

His problem was that he saw himself the end-user of those blessings.

If I read Jesus right, he seems to be coming down hard on our "Storage Unit" mentality -- that persistent habit of ours to store away in bigger barns things we'll never use while forgetting or overlooking the fact that God has blessed us so we can bless the lives of others.

It's as if Jesus is doing a little math: Bigger Barns = Shallow Souls.

So how do we view our stuff? As a statement of our status? Or as a means to be used to a greater end -- the advancement of the reign of God in the hearts of men and women?