April 7 - Greed, Worries and Life

Our lives are dominated by two very strong compulsions: wanting to get more when you have, and worrying about not having enough when you do not have. The haves and the have-nots are running around each day having the same goal: to have more in life. Very few of us are under the poverty level but act as if we are. Greed and anxiety are the twin evils in our society and the major causes for mental illnesses.

 

Jesus was fully cognizant of these problems and He offered one solution to both problems: Focus on the priority of life. When a person asked Him to arbitrate the division of an inheritance with the brother, He gave this advice, “Take care, and be on your guard against all covetousness, for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions.” Greed does not add anything to the quality of the life. Since most people think that meeting the needs of the body is everything about life,  Jesus went on to tell the Parable of the Rich Fool.

 

The rich fool was a rich person, successful in the eyes of the world. He was a thinking person, had good plans to accommodate future growth and saved enough for his future. To a point he was quite satisfied with his own achievements, saying to himself that he could relax, eat, drink and be merry. He thought he was speaking to his soul but in fact he was only taking care of his body and had done nothing for his own soul. When God required his soul, he was caught naked and poor. Greed can only take care of our bodies but not our soul.

 

Anxiety is also a symptom of one caring for his own body but not his soul. Both food and clothes are for the body and we worry too much about them. Most of our worries come because of our need for self-preservation. We must go on living in the body but what about our real life? The real life is fed by what God can do for us. It is like the ravens depending on God’s timely feeding. It is also like the flowers and grass in the fields, decorated and cared for by the Creator. When you are right with God, the rest is then taken care of by Him. Worrying about eating and drinking would not extend one’s life and seeking the things of the world has nothing to do with being rich in God’s Kingdom.

 

The real key to life is the Kingdom of God, to be under God’s absolute rule. When God is in control and becomes the Lord of your life, there is no need to get more or to worry about not getting enough. The promise of Jesus is, when you trust God totally, all the things that you are trying to get will become yours without you even asking. This is indeed the shortcut to contentment and peace of mind. Stop wanting more things and stop worrying about not having enough. Be rich in the Lord, have a great life!

 

Ps 49:14-20     Deut 31:1-32:27     Luke 12:8-34     Prov 12:21-23

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