Word for the Week
Short reflections on Bible passages, with a frontline focus...
‘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 towards God.’
Jesus certainly didn’t pull his punches.
The parable does not condemn the ‘rich fool’ for being rich. It condemns his attitude towards his riches: his self-centred selfishness.
In my book Parables:Rewired I reimagined this parable as the ‘Selfish Lawyer’. I changed the nature of the ending, but I was pleased that it delivered the same shock-effect as the story Jesus told.
God blesses our lives in a variety of ways: materially, intellectually, practically, physically, spiritually. Jesus is not saying that you should not enjoy these blessings. But he is saying that how you enjoy them is important.
He makes it clear he doesn’t want us to ‘store them up for ourselves’.
Because blessings are not given to us solely for our own benefit. So, we should always look to share them: to use them to bless other people. In so doing we offer a sacrificial portion of our ‘riches’ back to God and are being rich towards him.
This parable features a wealthy man, so let’s think about being blessed financially.
I’m guessing most of us would love to have enough money to be philanthropic and emulate the likes of Joseph Rowntree, John D. Rockefeller, Bill Gates. Each of these gave away a small fortune, albeit from their large fortune. Whilst we may not be in their league, all things are relative.
In 2021, the UK was the world’s 28th richest country. So, comparatively it is richly blessed financially. And, at the moment, there are many nations in need of assistance.
If you personally have assets (savings, net house value) of more than £70,000, you are among the top 10% of the world’s wealthiest people. So, comparatively, many of us are richly blessed financially. And at the moment, there are many foodbanks in need of cash.
But it’s not all about money…
Take a few minutes to conduct a ‘blessing audit’. What has God blessed you richly with: materially, intellectually, practically, physically, spiritually?
Then take another few minutes to think about how you could use those blessings to benefit others that you come into contact with on your frontlines.
Being ‘rich towards God’ involves multiplying his blessings: sharing and using them to bring a blessing to others.
Let’s aim to be ‘foolishly rich’ in sharing the ‘abundant harvest’ of our blessings.
Which is the antithesis of being a ‘rich fool’.
A lifelong adman, Mike is now Chair of Trustees at CPO (Christian Publishing & Outreach). You can read more of his retellings of parables at www.parablesrewired.com
Where and how might you share your various blessings on your frontline this week? Join the conversation in the comments below.