This passage reminds me of the parable that Jesus told in Luke 12:13-21. In the story, a man had a rich crop, and he soon realized that there was no place for him to store all the food. So what did he do? Did he reach out to the poor and needy in the area? Was he thankful for God’s blessings, and wondering how he could use those blessings to touch others’ lives?
No. Rather, all he could think of was himself. He said,
I’ll tear down my barns and build bigger ones, and there I will store all my grain and goods. And I’ll say to myself, “You have plenty of good things laid up for many years. Take life easy; eat, drink and be merry.”
But God said to him, “You fool! This very night your life will be demanded from you. Then who will get what you have prepared for yourself?”
This is how it will be with anyone who stores things up for himself, but is not rich toward God.
Jesus could very well have been talking about the Israelites of Amos’ time.
The rich of the land were feeling complacent, secure in their wealth, and proud of all they had, not even considering the poor, nor the evil and corruption that was in the land. And so God told them,
Therefore, you will be among the first to go into exile; your feasting and lounging will end. (Amos 6:7)
How about you? Are you proud of what you’ve accomplished? Of all that you have? Do you think to yourself, “I’ve got it made?” Be careful that you don’t become like the rich man in Jesus’ story or the Israelites.
Don’t focus merely on yourself, but on God, and the people around you. God has blessed you for a reason. And it’s not simply to indulge yourself and your lusts. He’s blessed you that you might be a blessing. And to make a difference.
Whether your rich or not, powerful or not, God hates self-centeredness, pride, and complacency. He calls us to stop looking at ourselves and to look at the world around us, and to be God’s hands, feet, eyes, and mouth to them.
Lord, it’s so easy to just focus on myself. Forgive me. Lord what resources you’ve given me are really yours, not mine. Help me to remember that. Help me to focus not on myself, but on you, and the people around me. Let me not live for myself, but for your kingdom. In Jesus name, amen.