16 Then Jesus told them a story: A rich man had a fertile farm that produced fine crops.
17 He said to himself, “What should I do? I do not have room for all my crops.”
18 Then he said, “I know! I will tear down my barns and build bigger ones. Then I will have room enough to store all my wheat and other goods.”
19 “And I will sit back and say to myself, ‘My friend, you have enough stored away for years to come. Now take it easy! Eat, drink, and be merry!’”
20 But God said to him, “You fool! You will die this very night. Then who will get everything you worked for?”
21 Yes, a person is a fool to store up earthly wealth but not have a rich relationship with God.
Companies consistently strive to present their earnings in the most flattering possible light. Many corporations have long reported financial proceeds using “Ebitdac.” Ebitdac is an acronym for “earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization.” Ebitdac is also known by the unflattering terms “Sum Craziness” or “Profit Fiction.” Such earnings and profits are illusionary. Now losses due to the COVID-19 pandemic are being added to the reckoning. Perhaps Ebitdac should now be modified to Ebitdaccp.
The reality is that these earnings are purely fiction and are the product of wishful thinking and imagination. They do not conform to reality. Financial prudence and wisdom, advises, not be deceived by the rosy “Ebitdac” figures. These revenues will never become a reality. They are essentially lost, never to return.
Mark Twain once quipped that civilization was “a limitless multiplication of unnecessary necessities.” It is so easy for us to deceive ourselves and others with regards to what is necessary and what have an desire.
Covetousness, AKA greed, avarice, rapacity, and cupidity, is the invisible sin. It lurks hidden within the human heart of many of the children of the King. Recall that covetousness is on the Top Ten of things not to do (Exodus 20:17).
“Covetousness is an unquenchable thirst for getting more and more of something we think we need in order to be truly satisfied. It may be a thirst for money or the things that money can buy, or even a thirst for position and power.”
“Jesus made it clear that true life does not depend on an abundance of possessions. He did not deny that we have certain basic needs (Matthew 6:32; 1 Timothy 6:17). He only affirmed that we will not make life richer by acquiring more of these things” (Wiersbe).
How can we know the degree of covetousness that lurks within? The Lord Jesus Christ told a story of about a wealthy farmer who had a great abundance of crops. Your gut reaction to the story can be quite revealing. As you consider the story, do you find yourself wishing it might be you? Ask yourself, “What would I do if indeed it were me?” What would I do with a great abundance of wealth?
If you suddenly became a wealthy person, would it create ambivalence regarding how you would make use of your newfound affluence? Would you think about what to buy or acquire? Would you think about how much to give away? Or would you turn to the Father and ask Him what He would have you do?
REFLECT & PRAY
Many children of the King are walking around with undiagnosed diseases. Sadly, covetousness is among them.
Father give me neither poverty nor riches! Give me just enough to satisfy my needs. For if I grow rich, I may deny you and say, “Who is the LORD?” And if I am too poor, I may steal and thus insult God’s holy name (Proverbs 30:8-9).
The wealthy farmer found in his abundance only an opportunity for self-gratification and self-aggrandizement. The needs of others were Not on his radar. And sadly, neither was the Father. As a result, all of his decisions were founded on pure selfishness. In this short passage of Scripture, the wealthy former refers to himself 11 times using the terms: “I,” “my,” or “myself.”
But he is ultimately in for a very rude awakening. Wrong thinking and wrong priorities can have severe consequences that are totally unexpected. And so it was for him. When you experience your first encounter with the Father face-to-face, do you really want the first words you hear to be, “You fool?” That would be a rude awakening indeed.
Luke 12:20 But God said to him, “You fool! You will die this very night. Then who will get everything you worked for?”
Utter selfishness as your primary motivation leads to covetousness and condemnation. Rather than possessing security, lasting satisfaction, and success, the wealthy farmer loses everything including his life. Wealth cannot keep us alive when our time comes to die, nor can it buy back the opportunities we missed while we were thinking of ourselves and ignoring the Father and others (Wiersbe).
If tomorrow you were given a choice to be rich in this present world beyond your wildest imagination, or rich toward God and in the world to come, what would you choose?
Many people have been given exactly that choice and chosen poorly.
22 When Jesus heard his answer, he said, “There is still one thing you haven’t done. Sell all your possessions and give the money to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.”
23 But when the man heard this he became very sad, for he was very rich.
24 When Jesus saw this, he said, “How hard it is for the rich to enter the Kingdom of God!
25 In fact, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter the Kingdom of God!”
26 Those who heard this said, “Then who in the world can be saved?”
27 He replied, “What is impossible for people is possible with God.”
“People who are satisfied only with the things that money can buy are in great danger of losing the things that money cannot buy” (Wiersbe).
Are you living in reality with a future and a hope built upon the foundation of the word of God or you living a Ebitdac fiction?