Read Luke 12:13-21
In the musical, Hello Dolly, Dolly Levi teaches Horace Vandergelder a lesson about greed. Vandergelder was a wealthy businessman from Yonkers, NY. He paid his workers a minimal wage and hoarded his money. Dolly Levi was a widowed arranger of lives who set her sights on becoming the next Mrs. Vandergalder. Dolly’s famous line in regard to greed is, ” Money, pardon the expression, is like manure. It’s not worth a thing unless it’s spread around, encouraging young things to grow.”
Jesus had thoughts about greed as well. In the passage from Luke, Jesus warns about greed and then illustrates the warning through the use of a parable. When receiving an abundance, instead of hoarding it with the intention of using it on one’s self, the Lord indicates it is better to use it to provide life. Jesus’s story demonstrates the folly of storing up abundance for the future since no one but God knows what lies ahead.
As Dolly Levi and Jesus indicate, abundance should be used for good. Many individuals who lived through the Great Depression and other economic downturns became accustomed to building up reserves in case there is a repeat of circumstances. This is sound logic and does not go against Jesus’s teaching. However, if an abundance is received or accumulated beyond a reasonable safeguard, then the abundance must be utilized to benefit others in any multitude of ways. When someone chooses not to do this, they move into a lifestyle based on greed which is self-serving and not serving the Lord.