I will do this: I will pull down my barns and build greater, and there I will store all my crops and my goods. And I will say to my soul, “Soul, you have many goods laid up for many years; take your ease; eat, drink, and be merry.”’ But God said to him, ‘Fool! This night your soul will be required of you; then whose will those things be which you have provided? So is he who lays up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God. Luke16:18-21
How great of a Sacrifice are you willing to make to secure for yourself abundance in this world? Will you expend your time and energy toward reaching a prosperous goal? Work your fingers to the bone (so to speak) trying to achieve wealth and comfort for your old age? Surly hard work and diligence are commendable to the Lord. Far above laziness and sloth. But that is what ensnared the Rich man and enticed him to build bigger barns. In his community he was probably a highly respected business man, admired by everyone. Known far and wide for his charitable contributions and benevolent deeds. It would be difficult to convince anyone that this person was lost in his sins. Nothing is more highly respected in this world than the accumulation of great wealth and much success.
There is a delicate balance between having too much and not enough. The Scriptures admonish us to work for our own bread. Don’t allow ourselves to become idle and above all provide for our loved ones as you are able. There is certainly no advantage in being poor and having next to nothing. The heart of a poor person can be as vile as any Rich Man, even living homeless in the streets. God is not opposed to our things, ONLY if in those things our heart rests. As the rich man in the parable, he was like many of his brethren, a successful farmer. But he was not RICH toward God!
Our lives are determined by the choices we make. You do not have to be the Rich man to be ensnared in his dilemma. In this world we must work to survive and provide for our families. (it is our Duty to them and to God!) But if that ‘Work’ becomes your own quest to build bigger barns, how are you different? With extensive labor comes neglect of family, physical and emotional fatigue and barrenness of the soul. Naturally this affects relationships with your children. In your desire to provide for them you fail to bond with them. Then later in life you become alienated out of habit. Thus not being RICH toward the treasures God has given you (for children are a heritage from the Lord! PS127:3) you lose entirely the blessings of age and stumble in your regret.
Having enough is well and good, but how much is TOO much? We take nothing with us when we go. (but we all know that) So what is the accumulation of goods in regard to the memories of our love and relationship with our families? The measure of our devotion to them is seen in how much of ourselves we were willing to give compared to the provision we have made. Balancing the two is where we will find that Peace and harmony everyone is seeking for. It’s a Choice we have to make.
Most hard working people do not fall into the same camp with the Rich Man in the Parable. But they do simulate his actions by focusing on their holdings. Most of us could live on a lot less if necessary, (many of us have) so to what purpose is it to acquire massive amounts of debt to have the best things now? Such a situation only forces you into this ‘bigger barns’ mode and keeps you on the treadmill of drudgery. It’s best to live below your means and be Rich toward God, so in times of adversity you will have a solid foundation on which to stand with your family. Earning enough is important but providing your family with godly underpinning is essential. You lead by example! If you’re too busy ‘providing’ to monitor their spiritual state and your own, everyone suffers. It’s certainly better in this respect to let the Barns fall down if it means leaving your family barren in a spiritual wilderness.
Man is driven by Priority. If he can equate those priorities with service to his family it will be difficult to convince him he is doing anything wrong. Like the man in the parable he appears normal and the family learns to accept the routine. Therefore the missed celebrations pass without much notice. The times and seasons you could have spent with them (when it mattered) are gone forever. Opportunity has faded away. You should have been teaching them the things of God diligently, by word and by example. Speaking of them when you sit down and when you rise up! (Deut6:5-9) Instead you were gone amassing your fortune.
You can leave your family a fine inheritance, but if they remain Poor in Spirit what have you done? If their memories of you consist merely of your absence at work, what have you achieved? Even in retirement there will be no solace. Because once gone, these things cannot be redeemed. Why would Paul warn young Timothy about equating godliness with gain? (1Tim6:6-9) Pursuing riches (much or little) is a snare to the soul. The root of all evil in our hearts! Better to have None of this World’s goods and pursue Righteousness, godliness, faith, love, and patience. (1Tim6:11-12) Lay hold on eternal life! Especially if it’s going to hinder your Walk with God.
Jesus told us that no one can serve two masters. You can’t serve God and the mammon. (riches) We have all known professing Christians who believe that godliness is working seven days a week, all hours of the day to amass their fortune here on earth. Surly their lives testify that they are Dead to God, although they may indeed be nice people and highly moral. In time they are as the Scripture says, ‘Pierced through with many sorrows’, because with the increase comes the regret. Many will have their Souls required of them when they are not prepared to meet God. Will you be one of them?
Those who find themselves feeling a twinge of conviction on this subject need not despair. If you were merely the Rich man, with all your treasures on earth, this wouldn’t faze you from continuing to accumulate more goods and believing it is the best thing to do for your family. However if you have the Light of God in your soul you know these things are True then you highly regret your miss-steps even though they originated from good intentions. Unfortunately you can’t go back in time and remedy the past, only repent of it and move on. But you can amend the Present and vow not to repeat the same mistakes over again. Make your Soul Rich Toward God and you will find that Peace we all seek. For the only things in this life that never fail is the love we have for Christ and His enduring Truth.