FROM THE SERVANT GENERAL
BEING A RICH FOOL
October 17, 2011
Today’s reading: Luke 12:13-21
Jesus tells the parable of the rich fool. How many of us are actually rich fools?
First, are we rich? The overwhelming majority of people in the world are poor, living very substandard on US$1 a day or substandard at US$2 a day. While one might not be a millionaire or have more than enough money for one’s needs, one who lives on much more than US$2 a day can be considered relatively rich. Paul says, “If we have food and clothing, we shall be content with that.” (1 Tim 6:8), then goes on to warn against wanting to be rich.
Second, are we rich fools? In what ways are we fools in relation to money?
* When we do not tithe, thereby becoming accursed and missing out on the floodgates of blessings from God (Mal 3:9-10).
* When we are overly focused on possessions and accumulating more, in effect constituting the sin of greed (Lk 12:15), and keeping us from giving more of our time and talent for God.
* When we are overly worried about what we are to eat or to wear, when God has already assured us that He will provide, if we first seek His Kingdom (Mt 6:25-34).
* When we keep just for ourselves the bounty that God has provided, and build bigger barns (Lk 12:16-18) rather than sharing the wealth with those in need (Acts 4:34-35).
* When we look to the financial fruit of our labors as a way to a good comfortable future (Lk 12:19), rather then seeing it free us to expend more of ourselves for the Kingdom.
* When we are so focused on this life that we miss out on preparing for the next (Lk 12:20).
* When we store up treasure for ourselves but are not rich in what matters to God (Lk 12:21).
We must realize that true riches are the things of the Kingdom. These are the virtues of love for neighbor, selflessness, generosity, simplicity of lifestyle, sharing of resources, social justice, love for the poor. A focus on money prevents us from growing in these wonderful virtues.
Jesus warns us about not being able to serve God and mammon, as each is a master that demands total devotion (Mt 6:24). So when we serve mammon in any way, that begins to draw us away from God and from serving Him. For us to allow that to happen is very foolish.
The rich fool in the parable said to himself that since he had so many good things stored up for many years, he would just rest, eat, drink, be merry (Lk 12:19). In the Lord, we are assured of a great future. In the Lord, we are assured of many good things, and not just for this world, but ultimately for all eternity. We are among those who are truly rich in what truly matters.
As such, we should rest secure in God’s love and care. We should eat of the fullness we have in Jesus, particularly doing the will of our Father who calls and anoints us to do His work (Jn 4:34). We should drink from the spiritual rock that is Christ (1 Cor 10:4) and the cup of suffering that Jesus has drunk (Mt 20:22-23a). We should be merry before the Lord with all our strength (2 Sm 6:5), rejoicing in Him always (Phil 4:4).
God has blessed us with so much. Let us not then hear Him say, “You fool!” when the time comes when our life will be demanded of us, and let us not be unable to answer God when He asks, “the things you have prepared, to whom will they belong?” (Lk 12:20). Let us rather be able to say, “My life belongs to You, and I have prepared myself all my life for You.”
Let us know what really matters to God, and store up treasure not for ourselves but for Him.
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