We all have priorities in life. Our priorities shape how we allocate our time, energy, and resources. And sometimes, our priorities can get a little mixed up. We can begin to value and pursue the wrong things. This is the case of a man Jesus speaks of in a parable in Luke 12.
We are introduced to a wealthy man who finds himself with a good problem. His crops have produced an overwhelming surplus resulting in the need to determine what to do with this abundant harvest. In an agrarian society this man has hit the jackpot.
So, what does he do? Jesus says the man decides to tear down all of his existing storage to build larger storage facilities. Nothing wrong with this. Nothing wrong with planning ahead or saving up financially.
But then we see a problem begins to be exposed in this man’s attitude. As we read through Luke 12:16 – 19 we discover that the man was focused completely on himself. His priorities were out of line. This is highlighted by the repeated use of words “my” and “I.” The man was solely focused on his own needs. He does not give thought to how his abundance could be a benefit to the needs of others. Furthermore, we discover that the man is placing his security and hope in his own possessions. Because of his wealth he determines that his soul can be at peace and he can coast through life.
But Jesus gives a sobering reminder. Riches in this life provide a false and fragile sense of security. We might expect Jesus to tell of how this man loses all of his possessions. But that is not the case. Instead, the man loses his life. All that he has earned is of no value to him. All that he has worked so hard to possess will simply be passed on to someone else.
Jesus then gives us the challenge for what we are to learn from this. He calls us to not be rich towards God. This is similar to His statement in Matthew 6 to store up treasure in heaven. We are called to make sure our priorities are in alignment with how God calls us to live. We are to seek to glorify Him in this life by loving and providing for those in need, sharing the good news of the gospel, serving others with the talents God has given us, investing in others, loving our spouse, discipling our children, and loving others we store up treasure in heaven.
But this also points to the use of our finances. The call to be rich towards God is a call to have the right priorities when it comes to how we use the money God has entrusted to us. Using our financial resources to only provide material creature comforts for ourselves runs the risk of not being rich towards God. Therefore we must prayerfully seek to honor God with the money He has entrusted to us.
So, how are your priorities? Are you seeking to be rich towards God? Are you seeking to store up for yourself treasure in heaven? Remember, that the treasure we store up in heaven will always far outweigh any material possession this life has to offer. Furthermore, one who trusts in Jesus instead of money will never be disappointed.