I was reading Jesus’ “Parable of the Rich Fool” the other day (Luke 12:13-34). The parable comes from Jesus as a response to a man who is angry that his brother is not sharing the family inheritance with him. Though this is an ancient problem, I assure you the problem is alive and well in our day. At the time of loss and grief of a loved one, often not far removed is a quibble of the money of the deceased.
Jesus points directly to the root of the problem: greed. The parable serves as a warning to those who are greedy for the money and possessions of this world, blinded by the reality that there things of greater value that are sacrificed when the heart is set on the gods of riches and prosperity.
Though this is most directly what the passage is about, this time as I read the passage the word that came to mind was “settling.” Certainly settling for money and riches is one kind of settling, but there are many other kinds of settling as well. Some settling for the “easier way.” Some settle for fame, independence, success, grades, achievements, awards, for freedom with no responsibility or accountability, for living the way “we’ve always done it.” I wonder if Jesus’ words don’t apply to other kinds of settling as well.
How easy it is to settle for less that we are capable, for less than what God has designed us for, for less the God’s good kingdom (Luke 12:31-34). Maybe Nelson Mandela had that in mind when he coined his famous quote. Maybe I need to take a look every now and then and ask, “Am I just settling?” What does seeking God’s Kingdom mean for me?