"Someone in the crowd said to [Jesus], “Teacher, tell my brother to divide the inheritance with me.” But he said to him, “Man, who made me a judge or arbitrator over you?” And he said to them, “Take care, and be on your guard against all covetousness, for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions.” And he told them a parable, saying, “The land of a rich man produced plentifully, and he thought to himself, ‘What shall I do, for I have nowhere to store my crops?’ And he said, ‘I will do this: I will tear down my barns and build larger ones, and there I will store all my grain and my goods, And I will say to my soul, “Soul, you have ample goods laid up for many years; relax, eat, drink, be merry.” ‘But God said to him, ‘Fool! This night your soul is required of you, and the things you have prepared, whose will they be?’ So is the one who lays up treasure for himself and is not rich toward God.”
Luke 12:13-21 ESV
perhaps i should give away..everything?
Not quite. We need to understand what God is truly asking of us. For starters, we should hone in on the last couple lines of scripture:
‘But God said to him, ‘Fool! This night your soul is required of you, and the things you have prepared, whose will they be?’ So is the one who lays up treasure for himself and is not rich toward God.”
God is calling us ALL to something extremely counter-cultural here, and that is generosity. Generosity isn’t haphazardly giving away everything you have, it’s dying to yourself to love others with the resources God has given you. This honors God and frees us from self-dependency and pushes us into deeper dependency on God as our provider. It’s that point of no return where we abandon our selfish desires in order to provide for the needs of those around us, and we do it all because we want them to know how loved and sought after they are by God.
If we understand God to be the Creator of all things and provider of our needs, then EVERYTHING He gives to us is a gift. Life itself is a gift, the food we eat is a gift, the friends we have are gifts, the air we breathe is a gift. In fact, in Matthew 6 Jesus says that our “heavenly Father knows that [we] need them all.” So if everything we have in life is a gift from our heavenly Father AND we believe that He’s going to always give us these things because He knows we need them, then who are we to say we earned it and it’s ours to keep??
You see, we are supposed to enjoy these things because they are good gifts. And when we enjoy these good gifts two things happen: 1) We want to thank the One who gave them to us and 2) We want to invite others to partake in what we’ve been freely given. Both of these things very much please God and are acts of storing our treasures in Heaven. So no, you don’t have to give away everything, but we are called to give away cheerfully (2 Corinthians 9:6-7) by thanking God and using what we have to address the needs of others by leveraging our resources to bless the body of Christ as well as those who are far from God. Matthew 6:21 says that “Where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” So I’ll leave you with a simple question: At the end of all days, where do you want your heart to be?
We ask that our hearts would be found with you in Heaven. Free us from covetousness and greed. Free us from selfishness and worry. We want to depend on you and you alone Jesus. Show us how.