It’s All in the Attitude
The parable Jesus told of the man who built bigger barns is often misunderstood by people who think Jesus was condemning the man for his wealth. Jesus called the man a fool, not because of what he had, but because of his attitude toward his possessions, and his priorities in life. What is wrong with working hard, being successful, acquiring the good things in life for ourselves and our families, and planning for the future? The parable does not suggest that these things are wrong. It does suggest that we need to examine our priorities.
The clue is in the last line of the parable—Jesus said the man was not rich toward God. Our lesson last week was on loving God and humanity. His main concern was a selfish one. He would enjoy his success, take life easy and have a good time. He would “eat, drink and be merry.” Jesus was not suggesting that he should give away all his possessions, or that he should not prepare for the future by storing crops. Jesus intended that we should be content to fill the barns we have and share the surplus with those who have experienced crop failures. Rather than just storing up treasures for our own enjoyment, we should take pleasure in finding ways to help others. Jesus did not mean to deprive us or our families of things we need, but if we examine our priorities, we may find we need far less than we think. We become rich towards God by having an abundance of spirit, not possessions.
Recently a terrible tornado went through our county, leveling many homes. Yet the families wept with joy as they embraced whose lives had been spared. Life was more important than brick and board. Another family in the same community had their home broken into while they were at church on Wednesday night, and many valuable things taken. Now, one of them always stays home from church, for fear they will be robbed again.
- Jesus warned us to be on guard against greed. What are some kinds of greed, and how can we be on guard?
- What things could you give up if it became necessary? What could you give up voluntarily?
- How do science and technology make us greedier?
- If your church has an endowment program, consider making a gift in gratitude for your blessings. If it doesn’t, contribute to one of the endowments of the CPC. Ask your pastor for more information.
- Give up one restaurant meal a week for a month and send the money to the Colombian Hot Lunch program, Missions Ministry Team, 8207 Traditional Place, Cordova, TN 38016.
- If your community has a Habitat for Humanity affiliate, donate some time to help build a house for a needy family.