Someone in the crowd said to him, “Teacher, tell my brother to divide the inheritance with me.” Jesus replied, “Man, who appointed me a judge or an arbiter between you?” Then he said to them, “Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; life does not consist in an abundance of possessions.” (Luke 12:13-15)
Many Christian women enjoy reading Amish/Mennonite fiction. We wonder if people with limited possessions can be happy. In Kim Vogel Sawyer’s book, Mercy Rains, most of the Zimmerman family are content with their limited possessions. But Shelley is not. She’s a bitter woman who poisons family gatherings.
A man in the crowd interrupted Jesus while he taught about the Kingdom of God. Asking Jesus to arbitrate in a matter of money told Jesus he only cared about the Kingdom of Man. Even though it was customary at that time for the oldest son to get most or all of the inheritance, this little brother wanted half. The older brother wasn’t willing to share. Money would sever the relationship of these brothers. Jesus came to save souls, not settle money disputes. He doesn’t care how much money we have, but he does care if we poison our relationships with greed.
Happiness depends on relationships of love. God loves us and provides us with precious gifts: love, eternal life, relationships, and forgiveness. Would we rather receive money?
Father God, thank you for meeting all my needs and teaching me that loving relationships, not money, are essential for a happy life. Fill me with Your Holy Spirit of love, so I can love and forgive others as you love and forgive me. In Jesus name I pray, amen