Your Soul Matters More Than Your Possessions - iBelieve Truth - May 31, 2024

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“But God said unto him, Thou fool, this night thy soul shall be required of thee: then whose shall those things be, which thou hast provided?” Luke 12:20 (KJV)

The goodness of God in our lives and the things we have gained over time can easily become distorted by an abundance of material blessings. There is the mantra of "The more I have, the better off I will be." There is somewhat of a truth to this. Our lives are deserving of applause when we work hard to do the necessary things to position ourselves to live well off. When gaining esteemed titles and positions, an appreciation of accomplishment is sure to follow. Who better to be the benefactor of such wonderful blessings than that of the industrious worker? But what happens when the need for greed impedes modest living for the believer and the Kingdom of God goes lacking?

Our peaceable walk with God will be in jeopardy if we allow the spirit of greed to rule in our hearts, especially when we create our own paths and do things in an ungodly manner to get what we want. Any means outside of the will of God for our lives is altogether reckless. These actions remind me of the parable where Jesus is teaching His disciples on how they should live with the Kingdom of God in mind. Luke 12:15-21 (KJV) reads:

"And he said unto them, 'Take heed, and beware of covetousness: for a man's life consisteth not in the abundance of the things which he possesseth.' And he spake a parable unto them, saying, 'The ground of a certain rich man brought forth plentifully: And he thought within himself, saying, "What shall I do, because I have no room where to bestow my fruits?" And he said, "This will I do: I will pull down my barns, and build greater; and there will I bestow all my fruits and my goods. And I will say to my soul, 'Soul, thou hast much goods laid up for many years; take thine ease, eat, drink, and be merry.'" But God said unto him, "Thou fool, this night thy soul shall be required of thee: then whose shall those things be, which thou hast provided?" 'So is he that layeth up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God.'"

What is greed? Greed is a staunch and egoistic craving to have more of something. Sometimes, by any means necessary. This is what is taking place in this parable titled, “The Rich Fool.” In this parable, Jesus is revealing that the rich fool must abstain from all kinds of greed. Jesus wants to make sure the rich fool is aware that life is not the measure by what he owns. After it is all said and done, where will your soul be after you have acquired all the wealth for yourself? In this case, the greed for wealth is the rich fool’s failure. 

While this is his misfortune, I would like to share other kinds of greed we can find ourselves in that we should guard against. The greed for recognition, attention, or control. Then there is the greed of foraging and hoarding things, theft, deception, and manipulation of authority. There are other forms of greed, but this list is extensive enough to begin with and worthy of expulsion from our lives if we recognize such behavior at work in us. Any form of greed is a direct insult to God’s goodness and can hinder our faith journey.

A person in the crowd posed a question regarding judgment for how the inheritance between the brothers should be handled. Rather than serve as the judge, Jesus simply tells of a parable where greed opposes kingdom-minded work. God blesses the rich fool. And He blesses us today. However, there are times when we are dissatisfied with what we have and seek out more. 

1 Timothy 6:6 (KJV) says, “But godliness with contentment is great gain.” When there is a yearning for more, contentment becomes obsolete, more for our own selfish gain rather than expanding the Kingdom of God. There was nothing wrong with what the rich fool had, but the sin was rooted in what he did to get what he had. Think of the times we played God and fed our own desires, ignoring the needs of others, unwilling to share platforms when it is within our power to do so, failing to share opportunities with others for fear of losing the spotlight.

Other times, we refuse to give away what we have too much of. None of the possessions we have can go with us when we depart this Earth. The belongings we leave behind will be freely given to those who did not have to work as hard as we did to obtain them. There will always be someone to pick up where we left off. Whatever positions we serve in, be it in the secular world or in the church community, there will always be somebody for that position. Do not worry about losing a position. Be concerned with losing your place in God. 

Earlier, I spoke of allowing greed to rule in our hearts. The Bible says in Mark 8:36-37 (KJV), "For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? Or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?" The rich fool was about to lose his soul. And he did not have the opportunity to exchange his soul for the wealth he gained. He thought that his retirement plan was a good thing until the confrontation of his soul that night. 

Greed is dangerous. From this parable, we learn the rich fool was looking out for his stuff but not his soul. He became desensitized to the mission at hand. Remaining blind to material idols is a costly error. Our focus should be on our soul requirement and what we have done for the Kingdom of God. Let us govern what we have in our hands diligently. The time will come when the good we have done in the name of God should outweigh the amount of goods we possess. 

Let us pray: Righteous Father, in the name of Jesus, forgive me for seeking after things instead of your kingdom. I no longer wish to operate in greed. Allow me to be confident in who you have called me to be and what you have called me to do. Provide me godly wisdom that when opportunities present themselves, I discern righteously between what is for me and what is not. Lord, let a spirit of generosity rest upon me. Allow me to be content with what I have and to make full use of it for your glory. In Jesus' name, I pray, Amen.

Photo Credit: ©Getty Images/Jon Lovette

TCoffman HeadshotTaRushajai Coffman is a native of St. Louis, MO, and a faithful member of the House of Deliverance Church of the Apostolic Faith located in St. John, MO. An ordained evangelist, TaRushajai serves in other ministerial roles such as youth Sunday School teacher, Youth/Mass Choir Director, and Deaconess to name a few. When TaRushajai is not serving, she assists sisters of faith by facilitating the monthly support group, Storm Survivors, for sexual abuse /domestic violence victims at her local church. She also serves as a prayer leader for the Midwestern District Council Women’s Ministry, a 24-hour monthly prayer conference call. An accountant by profession, TaRushajai has a genuine knack for problem-solving. She is a loving wife and mother of two adult daughters. She enjoys researching for fun and most importantly serving in the kingdom of God and sharing her faith.

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Originally published Friday, 31 May 2024.