In Luke 12, Jesus tells the parable of the man who stored up many earthly desires for himself only to pass away before he could enjoy them. The frightening aspect of this parable is that it begins with God Himself calling this man a fool. Now, for most of us, you would think this would be enough to cause us to change our attitudes about laying up treasures for ourselves or hoarding. The other important lesson in this parable is that as we continue to hoard, we continue to worry.
Fear of losing money or fear of not having enough begins to set in. Just look at the rest of the parable. The Lord is calling us not to worry. There are a number of verses in that parable that stand out to me. Most of our fear comes from the fact that we worry, yet in Luke 12:23 Jesus clearly points out that life is more than food, and the body is more than clothing.
Jesus reminds us how He provides for the least in the earthly realm, so He will certainly continue to provide for us as long as we work hard and follow His will. We do not need to build bigger barns and storehouses so that we might have plenty.
In order for us to get comfortable enough to move away from this fear of losing the money we already have, we need to understand some very important Scriptures. To be good stewards over what God has given us and to get rid of the fear and worry about tomorrow, one of the most important verses—if not the most important verse—in this parable is verse 34: “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”
How many of us have sat in front of a news reel and watched how some billionaire is giving away millions of dollars or growing their fortune or living in what could be considered a “castle” and we have been envious. Have we not said, “Oh, what I could do if I had that!”
You see, again, human nature is such that our hearts will lust after those things that we truly desire. We have this desire to get everything that we want, but not necessarily need. We do not have a “want” to be grateful that God has fulfilled our needs.
Because of this simple truth, we are constantly stressing over growing our money, protecting what we have, having the ability to earn, being able to save, and to pay for our children’s education. All the while, God has the full intention of giving us the desires of our hearts—as long as those desires are not above our relationship with our Lord.
Jesus knew all too well the desires of our hearts. He knew very well that our hearts were full of fleshly lusts, covetousness and those things we would desire but not necessarily need. I believe, as I read through Scripture, that Jesus also knows the vast majority of those things would have something to do with money—with treasures. I think if that were not the case, He would not speak so much about the issue of our worshipping the very thing that is not ours, and that instead of trying to hoard more, we should be giving it away.
The ability to remove our fear of money, or our fear of losing money, has a lot to do with changing the desires of our hearts. Unfortunately, that comes with a price: the price of dramatically impacting our ego and our pride.
Dan Celia is president and CEO of Financial Issues Stewardship Ministries, Inc., and host of the nationally syndicated radio and television program “Financial Issues,” heard daily on more than 660 stations across the country, reaching millions of households on several TV networks, including FISM-TV. Visit www.financialissues.org.