THE RICH FOOL
Pastor Clayton Hicks
Christian Street Baptist Church
A rich man had a fertile farm. He had run out of room for all of his crops, but instead of looking for a way to share what he had, to provide for others from his abundance, to help someone else, he decided to make room to hoard what he had.
As his plans are being made, the unexpected happens. His life comes to an end and there’s no one to benefit from what he has worked for. Who has he helped? Jesus concludes, “a person is a fool to store up earthly wealth but not have a rich relationship with God” (Luke 12:21 NLT).
This passage is often placed under the microscope of giving and finance, especially when pressing folks to give what they have monetarily to the church. But often it’s not money that we hoard, but other things that we keep for ourselves when those around us are in desperate need.
We hoard the power of our speech and keep silent when it comes to the suffering of others, even though we have a fertile field of influence to change someone’s life. We hoard our ability to engage each other and we assume a “like” or an online click will substitute for a phone call, or a warm embrace, or a kind word or deed. We hoard our time and tend to only lend it to what will benefit us and not give that limited resource to be a blessing to someone else.
We keep to ourselves the power of our presence, when there is a need to be present and active in the struggle for the souls of humanity. We keep to ourselves when there is a need for us to show up and be at the side of a brother or a sister, or a cause.
And we may not echo the same verbiage as the fool, “Eat, drink, and be merry,” but the sentiment is the same. We have become greedy with what we have, to the point of being blind to the blessing of helping someone else.
And the overwhelming cry from this world is, “Will you help me?” Don’t walk past me as I sit by the gate called beautiful, but will you help me? Don’t ignore my attempts to get in the water as it is troubled. Will you help me? Don’t leave brothers and sisters who are financially and socially downtrodden and institutionally blinded by injustice to sit and suffer when you have something to give. Will you help them?
The cross represents a vertical relationship from man to God, but it is also indicative of a horizontal relationship from man to man. And one of the ways we can have a rich relationship with God is through how willing we are to give of our “fertile farms” to help someone else.
You and I have enough time, love, influence, presence, and even finance so that hoarding need not be an option and greed not be the overriding factor. Sharing what we have should be our priority. For when our time is done here, what will be said about what we did with the blessings that we have been given? Did we hoard, or did we help? Did we make excuses?
The Bible is clear. Jesus says, in Luke 6:38 (NIV), “Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.” Let us not be weighed down by greed but be representatives of a rich relationship with Christ and help somebody.
• Who should you be actively helping, out of the richness of your life?
• What hold does greed have on you, so that you’re more concerned with attaining even more possessions?
• Besides monetary giving, in what other ways can you represent a rich relationship with God by blessing others?