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“But God said to him, ‘Fool! This night your soul will be required of you; then whose will those things be which you have provided?” Luke 12:20
The last thing you ever want God to call you is “a fool“. The Lord was not attempting to ascertain this man’s intellect but his lack of spiritual discernment. According to Scripture a fool is any person who leaves God out of life’s calculations. For example, “The fool has said in his heart there is no God.” Psalm 14:1
The man in Jesus’ story was a fool not because of what he said, but because of how he lived his life. He did not recognize his material blessings came from heaven. Fools leave God out of their lives.
Many years ago, a major American company had trouble keeping employees working in their assembly plant in Panama. The laborers lived in a generally agrarian, barter economy, but the company paid them in cash. After a week or two of work, the average employee had more cash in their pockets than ever before–so many of the workers quit! They were completely satisfied with what they had already made.
What was the solution? Company executives gave all their employees a Sears catalog. They brought a little bit of lust into their lives. No one quit then, because they all wanted the previously unimagined things they saw inside that book. Their focus changed – and so did their priorities.
When I was a kid, I always longed to see the Christmas edition of the Sears catalog. Every toy imaginable was in that book. I reviewed the contents for hours. Like the Panamanian workers, I saw things in that book which were previous unimaginable to me.
Without real spiritual discernment we all will act foolishly with our resources. Our hearts will lead us astray. As Martin Luther once said, “The Lord commonly gives riches to foolish people, to whom he gives nothing else.” In the end, someone else will enjoy the fruits our labor.