blessing or curse

Then Jesus said to them, “Watch out! Guard yourself against all kinds of greed. After all, one’s life isn’t determined by one’s possessions, even when someone is very wealthy.”

– Luke 12: 15

I’ll admit it.  I like stuff.  Cars, clothes, techie things.  I’ll admit, I always want more.   And, looking around the world, most folks of the 7.4 billion people on the planet would consider me wealthy as a middle class American.

If I’m not constantly pro-active in monitoring my attitude and my soul, I can become consumed with my own wealth, or even at times, my perceived lack of it.  To even write these words seems crazy, but I suspect it’s a reality for many of us who call ourselves followers of Jesus and live in the United States.

Today’s scripture verse from Luke 12, comes after a parable that Jesus tells about a greedy rich man who dies.  The point?  All of his wealth didn’t save him, and it actually insulated him from others, as his riches provided security and allowed him to not depend on others.  His blessing became his curse.

As my kids are about to start back to school next week, I reminded of stark contrast between my faith and our culture.  The contrast is in the answer to this question:  Why do we go to school in the first place?

Cultural Perspective:  To get an education, to get a job, to get wealth, so we can provide for ourselves and our families.  Or put another way, to obtain “security” and “success”.

Christian Perspective:  To get an education, to help us become the women and men God created us to be, so we can most fully use the gifts and skills God has given us, to make God’s Kingdom, the world, a better place, not only for our selves, but for everyone else.  Or to put is succinctly, to be the best I can be to be a blessing for others.

Jesus warns us that our wealth, which is supposed to be a blessing, can become our curse.

Prayer:  Lord, help me to see my wealth as a blessing.  May it be the blessing that helps me help others instead of becoming a curse that provides a false sense of security for me.   Amen.