Did you make $32,400 last year? If you did congratulations because you are in the top 1% of the world’s household income. Yes the top ONE percent! And if you have at least $10,000 in assets, car, equity in a home, bank and savings accounts, you are in the top 71% of the richest people in the world.
Luke 12:13-21 is the parable of the rich and greedy “fool”, Jesus’ word, not mine. This parable follows Jesus’ teaching on the unpardonable sin of blaspheming the Holy Spirit, brutally chastising the Pharisees for injustices they inflict on people, seven wicked evil spirits inhabiting someone and right in the middle of all this a guy says: “Teacher, tell my brother to divide the inheritance with me.” Really dude? After all these topics you’re worried about your inheritance?
Jesus responds telling the man, “Man, I ain’t your judge” my words, not his. He then says: “a man’s life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions.” (15b)
“Whoever dies with the most toys wins” is a phrase attributed to Malcom Forbes which is counter to the wisdom of the scriptures most notably Matthew 16:26: “What good will it be for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul? Or what can anyone give in exchange for their soul?”
In our abundant very comfortable lifestyles today I think we must be very careful to check our values, what we consider “normal” and what is a need versus a want. And what are our ambitions. Is the “American Dream more and more like a nightmare” as Casting Crowns states reflectively in one of their songs. And where are we truly storing up treasures?
My reaction to these questions is one of discomfort, self-justification, and entitlement. But I am sure that today and every day Jesus is calling me to re-evaluate and ask myself what am I investing in and what are my goals with what I have.