19And I will say to my soul, “Soul, you have ample goods laid up for many years; relax, eat, drink, be merry.” 20But God said to him, “Fool! This night your soul is required of you, and the things you have prepared, whose will they be?” 21So is the one who lays up treasure for himself and is not rich toward God.
— Luke 12:19-21
You just read the punch lines from a parable Jesus told in Luke 12:19–21. The rich fool was a successful farmer. He wallowed in his abundance! The parable is full of “I” and “my,” with no thought about the source of his blessings.
What should he have done when he found out that he had more than he needed? He should have thought about giving, blessing, and sharing. He had no room to store his crops because he was hoarding them.
Now, the main principle here, of course, is the use of money, but the fundamental problem is a failure of priorities. This guy was making choices, but he was making bad choices because he had wrong priorities. A lot of people in the world would applaud this guy and say he was doing something substantive with his life. But in the final analysis, his choices were self-destructive.
He thought that personal pleasure was the highest good. He assumed that everything that he had was for himself. He thought, as so many think, my life will just go on and on and on. I can choose as I want. I'll never have to account for my priorities. He believed, sadly, that God could be marginalized. He thought that God could be mocked. Galatians 6:7 says, "Don't be deceived, God is not mocked." You can't mock God. You can't get away ultimately with bad priorities. Wrong choices flow from wrong priorities.
Before we're too hard on the guy, I think he might have meant well. I think he may have felt, "I can't just waste what I have." Surely he intended to get to what matters at some point in his life. But note this: a good heart with bad priorities still leads to bad choices.
We've all been there at times in our lives. You have a good heart, you want to do the right thing, but you have bad priorities. So, when the chips are down, you make bad choices. Now, notice again in verse 21: "So is the one who lays up treasure for himself and is not rich toward God." Priorities. First things first. Stick to stuff that matters.
— James MacDonald
Lord Jesus, this parable strikes close to home in many ways. It’s easy for us to claim one set of priorities and live another. Help me to seek Your kingdom and Your righteousness, particularly as it affects those closest to me. Point out anything thing in my decisions that don’t match Your desires. I want my life to please You! Amen.