Monday, March 26, 2012

"I" Trouble


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)

We may at times wonder at the rampant egocentrism prevalent in our society.  We cannot escape the onslaught of advertizing over the airwaves and in the press assailing us with enticements to purchase this or that because: you owe it to yourself; you deserve it; it is all about you.  And there is no need to worry if you cannot afford it, you can always charge it or get it now, pay no interest for one year and after that year you can begin repayment.  The undisclosed truth, however, is that while they try to convince you that you deserve “it,” the ulterior motive is that they deserve your money.

Although the prevailing narcissism that seems so rampant today is nothing new.  Jesus confronted it in His day and He told a parable to illustrate the futility of such wrongheadedness.  Luke records this parable in his gospel (Luke12:16-21).  In a nutshell, a rich man has an unexpected windfall and contemplates investing in larger barn to store the overabundance of the harvest.  He dreams of a long leisurely retirement.  What is conspicuous in this narrative is the number of times the personal pronouns “I” and “my” and are used in this story.  He perceived all things to be in his possession and under his control, and that included his soul:  “I will say to my soul …” (v. 19). 

God called him a fool.  “The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God” (Psalm 14:1).  He may not have verbalized that sentiment, but he demonstrated with his life.  He considered all things his which truly belong to God.  “For the earth is the Lord’s, and the fullness thereof” (1 Corinthians 10:26).   God called him a fool, and Jesus said, “So is he that layeth up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God” (v. 21). 

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