Here we have a story of a greedy man.
I saw something new in this story that I hadn’t noticed before: the focus on family vs. material things. Don’t you love how scripture is multi-layered, filled with a depth of meaning? You can read the same scripture over and over again and learn new things every time.
This story was told to settle an arguement about a family inheritance. How many stories have you heard about families torn apart over who gets what when someone dies? What’s more important, people or stuff?
I just finished reading TUESDAYS WITH MORRIE by Mitch Albom. This scripture passage reminded me of Morrie Schwarz, the opposite of a greedy man, who was dying of Lou Gehrig disease. His former student, the author, spent Tuesdays with Morrie and wrote this book about the life lessons he learned during these visits.
Mitch was much like the greedy farmer in today’s scripture before he spent Tuesdays with his dying professor. During his visits with Morrie, Mitch learned about the power of love and the emptiness left by a quest for fame and fortune.
On one occasion, Mitch showed Morrie a newspaper quote by billionaire Ted Turner which read, “I don’t want my tombstone to read, ‘I never owned a network.'” They thought it was funny but at the same time, sad.
It isn’t wrong to have a lot of money. God blessed the greedy farmer with bumper crops. What the farmer did wrong was horde it all. He didn’t use it to help anyone.
When I think of a rich man who does a lot of good, Bill Gates comes to mind. He gave new computers to libraries across the country for patron use. We got several at our library in Lawton. He donated millions of dollars to the organization my daughter worked for, Research!America, to help it take its health advocacy worldwide. A friend who lives in Seattle told me Bill Gates is their patron saint, always ready to help people in the area. Money isn’t bad, it’s just what you do with it that can be good or bad.
Mitch Albom’s life was changed because he knew Morrie Schwarz. He went from a self-absorbed person to a generous and caring person, from a focus on himself and his career to a focus on others and how he could help them. He learned that people are important, things aren’t and greed will never fill the emptiness one feels, only love can do that.
I’d love to hear your stories about greedy people, generous people, families dealing with money issues, or any thoughts you have about these scripture verses.
It’s good to walk through the Bible with friends