I watch the fluctuations of the stock market and reflect on the effects of fear and greed. A character in a 1980s movie had this philosophy: “Greed, for lack of a better word, is good. Greed is right! Greed works! . . . Greed [will] save . . . the USA!” What foolish thinking!
I think of that occasion when a man asked Jesus to serve as an arbiter and make his brother share their inheritance. Jesus refused the request but went on to do the man a greater kindness. He pointed out the motive behind the man’s request and its consequences: “Take heed and beware of covetousness, for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of the things he possesses” (Luke 12:15).
Then Jesus told a parable about a man who harvested a bumper crop and began to make plans to increase and enjoy his riches. He concluded: “God said to him, ‘Fool! This night your soul will be required of you; then whose will those things be which you have provided?’ So is he who lays up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God” (vv.20-21).
The trouble with greed is that ultimately our goods go. But worse—we go. Better to store up treasure in heaven, invest in spiritual riches, and become “rich toward God.”
The treasures of earth do not last,
But God has prepared us a place
Where someday with Him we will dwell,
Enjoying the riches of grace. —Branon
Our real wealth is what we invest for eternity.