Our devotional this week is brought to us by Mr. David Taylor, junior economics major at the McLane College of Business.
And he told them this parable: “The ground of a certain rich man yielded an abundant harvest. He thought to himself, ‘What shall I do? I have no place to store my crops.’ “Then he said, ‘This is what I’ll do. I will tear down my barns and build bigger ones, and there I will store my surplus grain. And I’ll say to myself, “You have plenty of grain laid up for many years. Take life easy; eat, drink and be merry.” “But God said to him, ‘You fool! This very night your life will be demanded from you. Then who will get what you have prepared for yourself?’ Luke 12:16-20
Earlier this semester I had a forward-looking conversation with a close friend. He, being more experienced than me about employers, gave phenomenal advice: avoid the golden handcuffs; live simply, and they will have no power over you. I couldn’t wrap my head around it. I was committed to the idea of wanting more: more food, more vacations, more exclusive gyms, more luxurious living spaces; my brain screamed for more.
Truthfully, my heart has always battled greed. I knew from a young age that one cookie was never enough. Growing up, I listened to preachers’ warnings, parents’ speeches, and friends’ jokes about being greedy, but it still seemed impossible to just be content. Finally, after dozens of conversations, Jesus made it all make made sense. One parable later, and one cookie seemed just fine.
Jesus, as he tends to do, is proclaiming truth through a vivid narrative. In my mind, I see a man of average height, not too round, of medium skin tone, with brown eyes that scan his land, and dark hair that lies lazily across his head. I imagine a relatively plain man, a man that could represent any of us, if we were afforded the same wealth and abundance. Jesus is creating a picture of a person who wants to burn his blessings, tear down his gifts, and construct better, so he can have more. We’re being warned of an individual, quite possibly ourselves, who desires far more than he needs.
Economics tells us desire is infinite, but there are only a finite number of resources. In the text above, Jesus warns about greed, our infinite desires, and the joy of life, which is almost never found in the scarce possessions afforded to us. Satisfaction can only be found in Him, and so anything in the material world should never be coveted; God is fulfillment.
As business people, we need to remain aware that the temptation of infinite desire will continually press upon us. In the midst of that pressure, our job is to keep our businesses and our goals centered on Christ, the only satisfaction, not pursuit of unnecessary resources. Mark 8:36: “What good is it for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul?”