“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; life does not consist in an abundance of possessions.’
And he told them this parable: ‘The ground of a certain rich man yielded an abundant harvest. 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 my surplus grain. And I’ll say to myself, ‘You have plenty of grain 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 whoever stores up things for themselves but is not rich toward God.” (Luke 12: 13-21)
Living within the modern world, we strive every day to increase our worldly abundance. Capitalism has created a society that presents the concept of “retirement” and the endless search to increase one’s possessions. We are told that this is the path to happiness and the ability to live a stress-free life after our daily toils are over. We have been sold this message and everyone is following its code.
What has this pursuit of “retirement” brought modern man? Many would say that it has brought the ability to travel the world, purchase any item they choose, and to live without daily work to create monetary satisfaction. Others would say, that striving toward “retirement” has created a culture of greed. One that causes mankind to always be searching for more, to place their money in their knapsack, and to no longer help their fellow man.
We can see both interpretations but as followers of God we must be understanding of what our Savior instructed us to do. We are told that the pursuit of increased worldly goods is futile and something the foolish will do. We are told to strive toward God and that He will provide for our day to day needs.
Many will justify their hoarding as blessings from God and that they are entitled to this bountiful harvest. But they must ask themselves, what did you do to get this harvest? Did you maintain all of God’s instructions during your business interactions producing this harvest? Did you give freely without expectation of increasing your monetary status?
Too many will gladly say that they conducted themselves in a Godly way, but they are being foolish. It is understood that one would give to their children without expecting anything in return. This is expected but has also been lost within our society. We are witnessing daily stories about parents evicting their children, or fathers and mothers unwilling to help their children financially due to them believing that “no one helped me, so why should I help them”. How can this thought even be something that is present within the God-fearing population? This is a thought of Greed and no other! My do we have a society that believes that the children must rejoice upon receiving their inheritance instead of enjoying the bountiful harvest with their parents? How have we become so self-absorbed and entitled to believe that “if I give to my child, I will not have enough for myself?” You are foolish and are only going against what Jesus specifically stated to do:
“Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and the one who knocks, the door will be opened.
Which of you, if your son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him! So, in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.” (Matthew 7: 7-12)
How wicked of a generation do we live in that we actually have to address the act of giving to your children? Even during the time of Christ, He stated that the wicked understood the importance of giving to their offspring, but our modern, civilized man, is unable to do the same! How do we justify charging our child rent while they are living under our roof? If someone has abundance, how can we justify taking from someone who does not? Make any excuse needed but there are different ways to teach your child, instead of causing additional damage to your relationship or their mental health. Giving to your child, in every way possible, should bring joy and happiness but instead we have become so wicked that our love for our own family has grown cold!
How then must we address giving to those of need, when modern man is unable to give within his family, without expectation of profit? Every Christian has been told the importance of giving to the poor but what does it say about the state of the heart when we outwardly give to the poor, and boast about it, but refuse to give to our own family? Numerous times it can be heard about one donating their time to the local shelter or giving to a church program for the needy, but those same individuals neglect the people within their own family!
Unfortunately, our society has gone so far into the dark that we no longer see what is right and what is wrong. Pray that we may be able to see the light and turn from our ways. Pray that we will be given the understanding that the hoarding of money and the outward giving of mankind, is only in the expectation of salvation and that we are not giving freely. How can we say that we are following Christ, giving to the poor while our family members suffer? Why have we become so blind? Has our pursuit for “retirement” caused us to stray away from God this much? Just looking at our society today, we can see that we truly have lost our soul in our search for “retirement”
“But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God – having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with such people.” (2 Timothy 3: 1-5)