There used to be a show on TV called, “Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous.” The whole premise of the show was to make those of us who were not “Rich and Famous” jealous and covetous of those who were. It showed their extravagant, lavish homes and lives. Yet when you looked closer at the people, they weren’t really happy. They were still searching for happiness, often in drugs, booze, parties, sexual encounters, one more business deal, more power, something to fill the void in their lives. They were not content.
One day while Jesus was teaching, a man shouted out from the crowd, “Teacher, tell my brother to divide the inheritance with me.” (Luke 12:13) “Jesus replied, ‘Man, who appointed me a judge or an arbiter between you?’” (vs 14) Then He added, “Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; a man’s life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions.” (vs 15)
He then told a parable to illustrate His point. A man planted his field and when harvest time came around, he realized his crop was more than his barns would hold. So, he decided to tear down his current barns and build bigger ones to store his crops and possessions. “And I’ll say to myself, ‘You have plenty of good things laid up for many years. Take life easy; eat, drink, and be merry.” (vs 19) “But God said to him, ‘You fool! This very night your life will be demanded from you. Then who will get what you have prepared for yourself?’” (vs 20) Is Jesus saying it’s wrong to plan ahead for retirement? By no means! In verse 21 He explains, “This is how it will be with anyone who stores up things for himself but is not rich toward God.”
The point Jesus is making is this man was living the lifestyle of the rich and famous, tearing down his perfectly good barns to build bigger ones, not content, not thankful, not helping those less fortunate, but hoarding it all for himself, and then resting on his laurels. There’s nothing wrong with being wealthy, but if that wealth is not used for God’s glory, it will never be enough. Wealth cannot fix the void in our lives that only God can fill.