To Whom Much Is Given, Much Will Be Required

“Take heed and beware of covetousness, for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of the things he possesses.” (Luke 12:15)

I don’t know about you, but I haven’t been able to get over the fact that Leona Helmsley left $12 million to her dog. Two of her grandchildren received nothing, but her dog got $12 million. Go figure it.

I could not believe how blind Ms. Helmsley was to her own extravagance. There are just too many needs where that kind of money can make a difference, which is why I think the Bible says, “And you shall remember the Lord your God, for it is He who gives you power to get wealth.” (Deuteronomy 8:18)

Dr. Albert Mohler, President of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary pointed to Helmsley’s gift of a perfect example of how we have strayed from the biblical hierarchy that God established between man and animals. Unfortunately, many of us, just like Leona Helmsley, have elevated our pets to the status of children.

As I searched for Scriptures for this week’s column, I ran across the story of the adulterous woman. The Scribes and the Pharisees had brought a woman to Jesus who had been caught in adultery. They reminded him that Mosaic Law commanded that she be stoned. But Jesus told them, “He who is without sin among you, let him throw a stone at her first.” (John 8:7)

I realized as I read that verse that I was throwing stones at others rather than looking at sin in my own life. God has been very good to me, but the real value from those blessings is determined by what I do with them. That’s why Jesus said, “For everyone to whom much is given, from him much will be required; and to whom much has been committed, of him they will ask the more.” (Luke 12:48)

Instead of dwelling on Leona Helmsley, God convicted me to look at how I was using what He had given to me. I was embarrassed by what I saw. Oh, we are poor by Leona Helmsley’s standards, but in my life I see examples of the same unwise use of the resources which God has given us. I know now that I had no right to cast that first stone.

I sure am glad I serve a forgiving God, but I have got to admit that sometimes I wonder what he sees in a sinner like me. There I stood ready to condemn sin in the life of someone else when I was guilty of the same sin. Isn’t it great that our sins are covered by the blood of Jesus and that there are no limits to his forgiveness?

What about you? How are you using the resources with which God has given to you? Listen to what Jesus says: “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me. For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it.” (Matthew 16:24-25)

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