Summer Wake Program Study Jesus’ Parables 6
Do you find it hard to share possessions? I struggle with the idea of sharing possessions and wealth today. I am constantly trying to build up my little tower of wealth because I have dreams of going to seminary, getting married, and living a comfortable life. In reality, we are all conditioned by our culture to think of how we can achieve happiness through accumulating more stuff.
In Luke 12:13-21 Jesus is telling a story to a crowd about a farmer who had the dilemma achieving wealth, but not achieving happiness; he was producing more crops than his barns allowed to be stored. Therefore, he decided to tear down his barns and create new larger ones. This would allow the farmer to sit back, relax, eat and be merry for the rest of his life. Jesus calls this man a fool because he is hoarding his wealth and not sharing it with those in need. This farmer thought that he had achieved his wealth solely on his own, but in reality God is the giver of wealth and chose the farmer over someone else to be managing God’s wealth. As followers of God we are managers of God’s possessions. This means that nothing we have actually belongs to us, but rather that God has given everything that we have to us. Thus, as we accumulate wealth and possessions we must manage it well by noticing others who are in need and allowing our overflow to be given to them, because happiness for Christians comes only through having a relationship with Jesus.
So, as you think about your life today, what are the material possessions that easily grip your attention? How easy is it to obsess over them? Jesus makes the point that material possessions do not last forever and only lead a person to an eternal death. For example, a few years ago I was really into snowboarding. I needed to have a new snowboard every year. I had justified that because I ride so much that I deserved a new one. This led to investing all of my wealth into a sport. I did not notice that God had given me so much and I had given back to him so little. Think today about how you can be creative in cultivating new ideas for how you personally are going to put God over material possessions. Love always has boundaries, so determine what your boundaries are going to be in order to protect your love of God from being stripped away by the lure of the things of this world.
Jake Tastad JSAW Wakeboard Program Leader