You and I were not born to accumulate wealth or fame or power. We were given a higher purpose. Whether or not we live out that purpose is up to us. This is my translation of Luke 12:13-21
13 Then someone from the crowd said to him, “Teacher, tell my brother to divide the inheritance with me.”
14 But he said to him, “Man, who appointed me a judge or negotiator for you?”
15 So he said to them, “Become mentally aware and guard yourself from any greedy desire to have more because even when a person has abundance, a purpose-filled lifea does not develop from the things he possesses.”
16 Therefore he offered them an illustration, saying: “The land of a certain rich man produced abundantly.
17 So he began reasoning within himself, saying, ‘What shall I do, since I have no place to store my crops?’
18 So he said, ‘I will do this: I will pull down my barns and build bigger ones, and there I will store all my grain and my goods.
19 And I will say to my soul,b “Soul, you possess many goods set aside for many years; retire in ease; eat, drink, and be merry.”’
20 However the Creatorc said to him, ‘Fool! This night your soul is called forth from you.’ Therefore whatsoever you saved up, whose will they be?’
21 “In this way, one accumulates riches for himself, but is not abundantly supplied (with trust) toward the Creator.”
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a zoa: The NT identifies three kinds of life: bios, psuche, and zoa. Body, mind, and the life or purpose for which you were born.
b psuche: a name for the mind, personality, ego-self aspect of life.
c theos: the name “God” would be appropriate here because Luke is writing to Gentiles and “God” as a name for the Deity was taken from pagans by Christians. Not only that, but the Greek name for the sky-god was Ouranos. Interestingly in the fourth century, Jerome translated basileia ton ouranos as the kingdom of the heavens (skies). It could just as easily been translated the kingdom of Ouranos, the sky-god, since they are the same Greek word. A simple point that identifies that many nations worshiped a Deity in the sky/heavens.
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This story naturally flows into Luke’s version of “Don’t worry about tomorrow,” reminding me of the song from Annie: the sun will come out tomorrow. Stop worrying about the future. Live out your purpose and passion (zoa life) today. Pray for trust so that you can live fully within each moment of the day. After all, the writer of Ecclesiastes tells us that to have wealth and to be able to enjoy it is a gift from God. The true gift is an abundance of trust, not wealth.