As in the case of the aspen and its larger underground system, selfishness is part of the huge underground system called “sin,” which keeps us from finding true rest in Jesus. Of all the expressions of sin in our lives, selfishness seems to be the easiest to manifest, doesn’t it? For most of us, selfishness is as natural as breathing.
Read Luke 12:13-21. Describe the problem highlighted in Jesus’ parable. Is planning for the future, selfish and expressing disregard for God’s kingdom? If not, or at least not necessarily, then what is Jesus warning us against?
This parable appears only in the Gospel of Luke and is told in response to an anonymous question from the audience. Asked about a question regarding an inheritance, Jesus responds by rejecting the role of the arbiter between brothers. Instead, He opts to put His finger on the bigger underlying problem, namely, selfishness. He digs deeper to show the root mass underneath our individual actions.
Think about expressions of selfishness in your life. How does selfishness affect our relationship with God, with our spouses and families, with our church family, with our neighbors and colleagues at work? What key is found in Philippians 2:5-8?
By focusing solely on his own needs and ambitions, the anonymous rich man of Jesus’ parable forgot to take into consideration unseen heavenly realities. Bigger, better, and more are not the foundational principles of God’s kingdom. Paul offers us a glimpse into what motivated Jesus as He decided to become our Substitute.
Philippians 2:5-8 describes the blueprint of unselfishness, humility, and love. If love for God and others does not drive our choices and priorities, we will continue to build more barns for ourselves here and put less treasure in heaven (Matthew 6:20).
|Why is it so easy to get caught up in the desire for wealth and material possessions? Though we all need a certain amount of money to survive, why does it seem to be that no matter how much we have, we always want more?|