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 12:16-21
I have an odd obsession with the reality television show, Hoarders. If I'm flipping through the channels and I see it’s on, I stop what I'm doing and tune in. Sometime during each episode, I find myself wondering what lead this individual or couple to be consumed by clutter? It doesn't happen instantly. They pick up things along the way and never let anything go. As a result, over time, the junk begins to take over and suffocate them.
The individual inevitably struggles to part with their "stuff." They thought having all these possessions would bring them happiness, provide them with joy, numb some deep seeded hurt or help them ignore issues they didn’t want to address. Being surrounded by their stuff made them feel secure and safe. They had everything they needed, and were free from relying on anyone else, but themselves.
Many of us are spiritual hoarders, myself included. We're building "bigger barns," often, without even knowing it. The modern church is guilty of pushing an individualistic faith that centers on one's walk with Christ. Our focus is on what God can do for ME and how can He bless ME.
We act this way for a host of different reasons, but they often mimic those individuals clearing out their house on Hoarders. We desire for Him to provide us with enough security that we can go back to enjoying a life centered on fulfilling our needs, desires, and agenda. We foolishly believe this will lead us to freedom, but it merely clutters our heart to the point we can't move.
Here's how it plays out for me: Rather than taking time to be grateful for what I have, I often waste so much energy focusing on the things I lack. Instead of sharing His blessings with others, I store them away. I collect a lot of spiritual wisdom that accumulates dust on the shelf of my heart.
God blesses us so we can be a blessing to those around us. Our hearts, having been transformed by the cross, should overflow with thankfulness. A generous spirit is a healthy one. We weren't designed to hoard His grace and love, but to give it away freely.
· Do you spend more time focusing on what you have or what you lack? Why do you think this is the case?
· What is a tangible, small step you can take today to be rich towards God by exercising generosity?
Lord, may I live an abundant life fueled by generosity. I desire to be a blessing to others and play a part in meeting the needs around me. Let me be rich towards You through stewarding my resources, my time, and my talent well. In Your name, Jesus. Amen.