And He said to them, “Take heed and beware of covetousness, for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of the things he possesses.”
Thanks so much for coming by, Coffee Hour Friend. It’s that time again, our WOW time to use scripture as a weapon of warfare to apply to the currents of life as they billow in and sometimes over us. Grab your coffee, and your red Strand of Faith. I’m hoping this WOW will be incredibly knot worthy for you!
So last week, our pastor finished up the series “Weird, Because Normal’s Not Working,” and his final message was based on being weird with our money/finances. His timing for that message was interesting, especially considering what’s happening in my life, but let me not detour … just yet.
Allow me to lead us to Luke 12:13 first before we go to our WOW. I think it’s important to put our Words of Wisdom and Weapons of Warfare into context so we don’t just feel like we are making it fit somewhere in our lives.
See, Jesus is hanging out with the crowd, standing out in the crowd and He’s doing one of the jobs He was sent to do: Teaching. Now, it’s curious to think about; was He going to talk about this next topic or did the statement from the one in the crowd spur this teaching? Whatever the answer, it doesn’t matter for this lesson made it into the Number 1 Best Seller, the undisputed Word of God. Tweet This!
The statement that inspired the message: “Teacher, tell my brother to divide the inheritance with me.”
Now, right away, we know this lesson is going to be about money … or is it?
Jesus’ next words to the man in the crowd, and to you and me, are, “Man, who made Me a judge or an arbitrator over you?” Let’s put this on pause for a moment. There are a couple of instances in the Bible where there were disputes, and real nasty ones, about birthrights and inheritances, true stories of people doing drastic things to get what they felt was theirs.
Have you ever watched families fight, after a loved one has gone to his/her eternity, over what’s left? There is never a winner! It’s something that leaves a completely bitter taste in the mouths of anyone fighting … and for those who’ve watched. The fight destroys families; I’ve had a front-row seat as I watched a conflict with my mom’s small inheritance rise to the level of destruction between my brothers … to this day they are not speaking. I’ll spare you all the gory details and just give you the framework, because the fact that my mom had anything left to leave in and of itself is a miracle and could be a whole other blog!
But what she did have left over, my youngest brother deemed it was his and his family because my mom had said as much to him. The problem in all of our eyes was that mom wasn’t of sober mind when she said that and we knew in our hearts that she would want it all divided equally. My other brother had a fit and about fell in it, and it truly wasn’t about the money; he didn’t need it. No, it wasn’t about the money, but from the outside looking in, I can see that his need/greed to prove a point, stand for what he believed was right still keeps them from speaking … four years later!
All I can do is pray for them from a distance; that somehow He will open up the eyes of their heart and help them to see that the things we become greedy about, including trying to prove a point, are all temporary, external, with no eternal value! Any time the subject of my mom’s inheritance comes up with either of my brothers or my sister, I’m so thankful for the words I am able to speak because of the understanding God has granted me in that painful process: each of them believes in their heart they were standing for the right thing, a right principle, but neither one’s stance should create a silent barrier built with bitterness and … pride.
Could it be that pride is somehow related to greed? Tweet This! I dare say it is! Pride is a shade of greed. Oh, to put this in words … pride isn’t greed but a shade of greed, a shadow that either intensifies the greed, making it more powerfully visible in our life, or something that hovers off in the distance, with little to no power over the propensity in each of us to display a form of greediness. In other words, pride can intensify the greed and the things which we are greedy for, making greed darker, easier to see, more obvious to the eyes of anyone watching.
I’ve reported countless cases in lawyer’s conference rooms and in the courtroom where greed was the thread woven through the facts of each case, leaving a trail of emotional bankruptcy for both sides because when greed is involved, no matter what shade, there is no winner!
Have you ever wanted to stand up in the crowd and demand that God convict the heart of someone to share their inheritance … or see your point of view … or do things your way?
Oh, the sweet conviction of His Words of Wisdom to use as Weapons of Warfare against the shades of gray!
Join me tomorrow for more of this month’s WOW!