WHAT CONSTITUTES A SUCCESSFUL LIFE?
Many people view success as worldly fame and prosperity. We can become so focused on outward signs of success that we lose sight of what’s really important. Jesus highlighted this problem when an individual asked Jesus to solve a family dispute over an inheritance. Jesus gave a principle and then followed up with a parable; let’s look at the principle:
Then He said to them, “Beware, and be on your guard against every form of greed; for not even when one has an abundance does his life consist of his possessions.” – Luke 12:15
Jesus then told a story about a rich man, who from all outward appearances, appeared to be successful. He contemplated what he would do with his wealth and how he would spend his time. His actions however, were condemned by God:
But God said to him, ‘You fool! This very night your soul is required of you; and now who will own what you have prepared?’ – Luke 12:20
Why did God call him a fool? God did not call him a fool because he was rich. Greed is not a financial issue, it’s a heart issue. God did not call him a fool because he was unjust, the parable doesn’t indicate that he was dishonest. He appeared to be a hard-working farmer (2 Timothy 2:6). Why did God call him a fool? God called him a fool because he did not consider God in his plans:
“And he began reasoning to himself, saying, ‘What shall I do, since I have no place to store my crops?’ Then he said, ‘This is what I will do: I will tear down my barns and build larger ones, and there I will store all my grain and my goods. And I will say to my soul, “Soul, you have many goods laid up for many years to come; take your ease, eat, drink and be merry.”’ – Luke 12:17-19
Notice the frequent use of the personal pronouns I or my, but there is no mention of God. God has you in His plans – do you have Him in yours?
God called him a fool because he confused surplus with security. He put a great emphasis on making a living but not on making a life. We must understand that the most important things in life aren’t things.
Finally, we see that this man was a fool because he lived for the temporal, but not the eternal. He assumed he had plenty of time, but we don’t know how much time we have.
We don’t understand that Christ is all we need until we realize that He is all we have – then He is all we want. We’re not meant to be reservoirs of God’s blessings, but channels of blessings to others. Some people have plenty to live on but nothing to live for.
So is the man who stores up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God.” – Luke 12:21