Then he said, “Beware! Guard against every kind of greed. Life is not measured by how much you own.” – Luke 12:15

Writers have a class of words that they often turn to brighten their essays. They are called onomatopoeic (on·o·mat·o·poe·ic). These are words whose sounds reflect their meaning. For example, whack, buzz, bubbling, hiss, jangle, and crackle, to name a few, all sound like their meaning. You can almost hear the hissing snake ready to strike or feel the heat from the crackling fire.

In one of Jesus’ parables recorded in Luke 12:13-21, He tells a story of a farmer who had such a bountiful harvest one year that he had nowhere to store it all. Thinking that his harvests would be that way forever, he decided to tear down all his old barns and build bigger ones to store more crops and then live a life of ease.

As Jesus introduces the story, he cautions his followers, “Beware! Guard against every kind of greed.” I believe the word greed is one of those onomatopoetic words. You just can’t say it without gritting your teeth. Try it. It has a sinister and disturbing sound to it doesn’t it? The word in the original language literally means, “eager to have more.” It points to a strong desire or passion for earthly wealth while ignoring spiritual treasures (Matthew 6:19-21).

Because greed always promotes a desire to become materially rich and live a life of ease, Jesus warns that if we, like the farmer, continue in that direction we could find ourselves in a two-way conversation with God that goes like this,

YOU: “I’ll sit back and say to myself, ‘I have enough stored away for years to come. Now take it easy! Eat, drink, and be merry!”‘ (Luke 12:19).

GOD: “You fool! You will die this very night. Then who will get everything you worked for? Yes, a person is a fool to store up earthly wealth but not have a rich relationship with Me” (Luke 12:20-21).

Notice the whole emphasis of the parable is how to become rich. The difference is in its source and future. One is the world’s way. The other is God’s way. Any idea which one will last longer? — Maranatha!

Don’t wear yourself out trying to get rich. Be wise enough to know when to quit. In the blink of an eye wealth disappears, for it will sprout wings and fly away like an eagle. – Proverbs 23:4-5

To help us walk closer with God and to know Him better

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