The world is obsessed with money and possessions. Some people become workaholics to build wealth; others play the lottery. The Parable of the Rich Fool has vital lessons about how we should view wealth. Steve Moore and Rob West discuss what it means to be "rich toward God" on this edition of MoneyWise Live.
Luke 12, verses 16 - 19: “The land of a rich man produced plentifully, and he thought to himself, ‘What shall I do, for I have nowhere to store my crops?’ And he said, ‘I will do this: I will tear down my barns and build larger ones, and there I will store all my grain and my goods. And I will say to my soul, “Soul, you have ample goods laid up for many years; relax, eat, drink, be merry.” The passage goes on to say: “But God said to him, ‘Fool! This night your soul is required of you, and the things you have prepared, whose will they be?’ So is the one who lays up treasure for himself and is not rich toward God.”
What exactly does it mean to be “rich toward God?”
- Being rich toward God is the opposite of treating the self as though it were made for things and not for God.
- Being rich toward God is the opposite of acting as if life consists in the abundance of possessions and not in the abundance of knowing God.
- Being rich toward God is when your heart is drawn toward God as your riches— and mind and body follow.
- “Rich toward God” means counting God as greater riches than anything on the earth.
- “Rich toward God” means using earthly riches to show how much you value God. That’s what the prosperous farmer failed to do.
More relevant points:
- Money is neither good nor bad. It’s simply a tool.
- The issue isn’t that the man’s fields prospered. It’s that God ceased to be his supreme treasure.
- Instead of saying, “Soul, you have ample goods laid up for many years; relax, eat, drink, be merry,” he would have said something like this:
“God, this is all yours. You have made my fields prosper. Show me how to express with my riches that you are my treasure, and that riches are not..."
Next, Rob and Steve answer some listener questions at 800-525-7000 or via email at Questions@MoneyWiseLive.org:
- Is there really any difference between investing and gambling?
- If you're close to retirement age and have about $100,000 in an IRA, would it be a good idea to buy a house with the distributions thereby making your retirement funds perpetual?
- If you're age 55 and disabled, have $30,000 in retirement, $45,000 in saving and a $120,000 mortgage and recieve a small pension and some Social Security, would it be OK to spend some money on putting in new kitchen cabinets?
- If your mother-in-law has about $37,000 in a savings account, what would be a good way to set up some investments for her?
- If you're presently leasing a car that you like and can buy it with cash from a savings account, would it be a good idea to do so and continue making payments back into the savings account to replenish it?
- If you have an opportunity to either buy a house with higher monthly payments or a condo with less monthly payments but an additional HOA fee, which is better if both wind up being about the same expense per month?
- If you're presently a co-signer on a loan for your daughter with a really high interest rate, would it be OK to refinance the loan for a lower interest rate even it it continues to be a co-signed loan?
- If owe $10,000 in medical bills and have an option to be a youth pastor but it means you would make 60% less, should you consider this or stay in your current job?
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