The Parable of the Rich Fool is a clear warning against covetousness. It is meant to discourage you from devoting your life to the gathering and accumulation of wealth. You find the story at Luke 12:13-21. Verse 15 contains the key to understanding this parable. “Take care, and be on your guard against all covetousness,” says Luke 12:15, “for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions.” The Bible is clear about this; God can (and is willing) to bless you with material possessions. But wealth is not the end, it is a means to an end. Jesus concludes his parable with a call for us to nurture a rich relationship with God.
After selling his company to Facebook for $1 billion, Instagram co-founder Kevin Systrom had this to say; “the biggest lesson coming into a fair amount of money pretty quickly, was that money itself is no end. It doesn’t make you happy”. Systrom’s mentor had warned him that money does not solve many of the problems that come with being human. “No matter where you are on the spectrum, you struggle in different ways,” Systrom recalled being told. Kevin Systrom’s experience is not unique. It is a common experience many people have. They come into money, and because they do not have that grounding in God. They are surprised to realise that they still struggle.
The biggest issue with the Rich Fool is that all he wanted to do was to make a showcase of his wealth. He was not conscious of the spiritual utility of his wealth. You must learn that your wealth, wisdom and powers are not meant for that. The will of God for your wealth, wisdom and power is known. It is not hiding in some glory cloud somewhere. You find it plain in the pages of the Bible. Jeremiah 9:23-24 (ESV) says, “Thus says the Lord: “Let not the wise man boast in his wisdom, let not the mighty man boast in his might, let not the rich man boast in his riches, but let him who boasts boast in this, that he understands and knows me, that I am the Lord who practices steadfast love, justice, and righteousness in the earth. For in these things I delight, declares the Lord.”