I recently heard a mother say something like this: “I want my children to get the best of education, because education and money is all one needs at the end of the day. If you got good education, it’ll help make money, and if you got money, you got respect, you got a place, a position, a standing in society. If you don’t have money, you are a nobody.”
In contrast, Jesus made it very clear: “one’s life does not consist in the abundance of the things he possesses” (Lk. 12:15). He told the Parable of the Rich Fool, that we know. The Fool thought that his unprecedented success in business had now set him for life. He got life. But God called him a fool since his death was ordained for that same night, and his success in business could not stop it nor follow him beyond the grave. On that same night, the rich fool would find himself before God in the most impoverished condition; because what he hadn’t spent for the poor and for the kingdom of God had remained behind for other men to use or squander. He had invested nothing in the kingdom that rules both heaven and earth; and so, he lost life both here and in the hereafter.
O Henry said it well, “We can’t buy one minute of time with cash; if we could, rich people would live longer.”
Jesus poses the deeper question, “What does a man gain if he gains the whole world, but loses his own soul?” He, therefore, commanded us to be rich toward God, i.e., rich in things of God. He told us to have treasures in heaven and not merely store up things on earth. To His disciples, He said “Life is more than food, and the body is more than clothing” (Lk. 12:23). He commanded us to change the focus from earning bread to doing the will of God, to change the focus from establishing our own security on earth to giving ourselves up fully for the kingdom of God. This simply means that we stop working merely for daily bread; on the contrary, whatever we do must be done in interest of the kingdom of God. In this way, we won’t be like those who are focussed on money-making and money-hoarding. But, we will use whatever we have and whatever we get along this life’s journey on earth for the kingdom of God. We won’t focus on hoarding up money for self-interest; we’ll focus on spending it generously for divine-interest. The fact is He is interested in the salvation of our souls. Jesus says, “Do not fear, little flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom” (Lk. 12:32). Do not be vexed with thoughts of earthly security, for God has decided to make us inheritors of His kingdom.