“Watch out and be on guard against all greed, because a man’s life is not measured by how many possessions he has” (Luke 12:15).
It’s a common movie scene: An investigator is trying to gather information, but he’s having a hard time finding anyone to talk. So he pulls out a $100 bill and waves it around. In a matter of seconds, he has the intel he needs. Money talks.
Our greedy hearts
Yes, money talks. What does it say about you? Your attitude toward money says something about your attitude toward God. Jesus made that clear to a man who interrupted him while he was teaching. “Teacher,” the man demanded, “tell my brother to divide the inheritance with me.”
Money talks. In this case, it said that this man was more concerned about getting his fair share than about what Jesus was teaching.
Is that what money would say about us? Are we so driven to get our fair share that we would let a money dispute tear our family apart and drive us from our Savior?
This man asked Jesus to judge his “selfish” brother. Instead, Jesus judged him by pointing out his greedy heart. Just think how many family disputes would cease if we took an honest look at how we contribute to the problem! Just think how much peace could be won if we acknowledged how often we jump to conclusions or make a big deal out of issues that are really not that serious!
Our heavenly inheritance
God has given us the reason we can be conciliatory—even when money is involved. Jesus said in the verses right after our reading that “your Father is pleased to give you the kingdom” (Luke 12:32). Yes, an eternal life of peace and joy is already ours through faith in Jesus. Do we need to wrestle every dollar out of the hands
of those we think are less deserving?
Think of it like this: When you were a kid and headed to your aunt and uncle’s for the traditional end-of-summer BBQ blowout, did you get upset when your mom would not let you have your usual midday snack? Of course not! Something better than a granola bar awaited your taste buds. You could curb your appetite because in a few hours you would be sitting down to a feast. And your hungry tummy helped you enjoy those ribs and apple pie all the more! Think what God has in store for us. It’s so much better than anything we could lay our hands on now.
Yes, money talks. What does it say about you? Does it say that you enjoy it more than you enjoy God’s Word and the peace and pardon he gives you there? Does it say that you rely on it more than on God? Does it say that you think about it more than you think of others?
How it must have pained Jesus to hear this coveteous man. Jesus would quite literally feel the pain of that sin again on Good Friday when he suffered for it on the cross. But he did so willingly, because he had come to mediate a heavenly inheritance for all greedy sinners—including you and me.
No, we don’t need to run after every dollar, keep up with the latest fads, or have the latest gadgets for our lives to be fulfilling. Our lives are already overflowing—with God’s love and his promises of forgiveness and peace.
The Scripture references used in this article are from the Evangelical Heritage Version.
Author: Daniel Habben
Volume 108, Number 08
Issue: August 2021