A Confession

Read Luke 12:13-21 

I worry about money and about my stuff. I’ll just confess this right away. Now you know that this parable makes me uncomfortable, deeply so. 

Society and that paranoid inner voice tell me to hoard my possessions, my gifts, my time, and everything else. “Do what’s best for you,” they yell. “No one else will take care of you,” is their refrain. And you know what, I believe them. So, I squirrel away my time and my talents, I sit on the knowledge that my inaction for others enriches my self. And I wait, watching my barns burst at the seams, only to plot ways to gain more. 

At what cost? At what destruction?

The rich man’s sin is not his wealth, though his wealth is certainly not a force for good. The rich man’s sin is not the abundant harvest, nor the mean’s to secure a storage solution. Rather the rich man’s, and indeed my own, sin is the never ending need to fill up, hoard, and secure for his-self. He already has barns, multiple barns, for his own needs. He doesn’t need more.

God grants him an abundant harvest and instead of looking around the community to see who else may need this excess he hoards it for himself. The rich man’s sin is greed and gluttony. 

Often I (and possibly we) really miss the point of excess granted by God. We treasure this excess and build shrines to it, bigger houses, bigger barns, bigger bank accounts. This treasure becomes our only interest, we work to maintain it and enjoy it. 

At what cost? At what destruction? 

The parable of the rich man gives us a glimpse into the economy of Jesus. In which, Jesus flips the norms upside down. I like to look at parables backwards. What if the rich man didn’t hoard? What if he gave all he had to the poor, as Jesus calls another rich young ruler to do? How would this parable have played out? Would the rich man have lived? I don’t have the space here to answer these questions, but I would ask that you take the time to answer them for your self. There isn’t necessarily a right answer, but I do think your answers will offer you a glimpse of what Jesus is wanting you to learn through this parable. 


  • In which area do you need to be generous? (time, relationships, possessions, talents) Find a way to share the blessing God has given you. 

by Nic Fridenmaker