As people of faith, we ask “Why” questions all the time. For example:
- Why does our good God allow so much suffering in this world?
- Why do the wicked prosper?
- Why hasn’t my prayer request been answered?
- Why is my job search taking so long?
- Why are we (or our friends) not able to have children?
The “Why” questions of faithful people often arise when circumstances are hard, or life is painful. In the passage we studied on Sunday morning, Jesus teaches us about the importance of also asking “Why” questions in seasons when we are feeling blessed.
While teaching on the subject of money in Luke chapter 12, Jesus tells a story about a rich man who had practiced acumen and discipline with his assets. The man had planted, waited and harvested. The man had come up with a financial plan that emphasized saving and making preparations for his life to be easy in the coming years.
What the man in the story did not do was ask a “Why” question about his finances. He never asked God, “Why do I have so much? Why have you given me more than I really need? Why have you caused my crops to prosper, God?”
One can imagine that the same man would be full of “Why” questions for God had his crops failed and his barns been empty. But in the season of plenty, the man didn’t consider what all that wealth was actually for. He just reacted on the impulse to save.
As we saw in the sermon on Sunday (which you can listen to here), this rich man’s problem was not that he was rich. This rich man’s problem was not that he took his money and leveraged it for the future. His problem was that he didn’t look far enough into the future. He didn’t look far enough into the future, when he managed his money, he only thought about himself and this life, he did not take into his accounting the life that is to come.
At the end of the day he was shortsighted because he managed his money with a few decades in mind, not with eternity in mind. And because he managed his money this way, God calls him “foolish” even though our world would call him “prudent” or wise. The man in the story never saw his stuff as being entrusted to him for any purpose other than himself. He never stopped to ask himself, “Why do I have so much?” He just acted on the impulse to hold on, hold on, hold on tightly to money. And now it’s all gone and so is the opportunity to do something meaningful with the money entrusted to him.
Let me invite us to ask ourselves a question about money this week: “Why?” “Why do you and I have more than we need?”
Is it that I have more than I need because God is giving me the commission to take really, really good care of myself? Is it the case that I have more than I need because God wants me to have the kitchen of my dreams? Is the reason that I have more than I really need because God wants me to have more?
Or, is the reason that I have more than I need because God is giving me an opportunity? Is the reason that I have extra in this life because God is giving me the chance to do some things that will make me rich towards God? Is the reason that I have extra in this life because God is trusting me to some things for the Kingdom of God with what He has entrusted to me?
Why do you think you have more than you need? Is it so you can chase your income with your lifestyle? Or is there another reason?
Grateful to be asking the “Why?” questions alongside you,