“And I will say to my soul, ‘Soul, you have ample goods laid up for many years; relax, eat, drink, be merry.’ But God said to him, ‘Fool! This night your soul is required of you, and the things you have prepared , whose will they be?’ So is the one who lays up treasure for himself and is not rich toward God.”
When is the last time you were wronged in such a way that forgiveness was necessary? Were you caught off guard? When you see the need to forgive in your own heart, is it elusive and difficult? Many times, when we need to forgive, we can’t because we don’t have the resources. Being wronged takes us by surprise, and even if we want to forgive we just can’t seem to muster up the feeling!
Here in Luke 12 we find that we will never be able to forgive from the heart if we are wrapped up in our possessions. So often the reason we are so deeply hurt is that someone has damaged or taken away the thing that is closest to our hearts. And in this culture that is very often our “things.” Look at the last line of the passage. When we lay up “treasure for ourselves” we are putting money in an imaginary bank, but it is a bank which is very insecure. It is easily robbed of its treasure, from multiple directions. We are crossed in a business deal, someone rear-ends our new truck, the one we just tripped out, or someone snubs our reputation, something we cannot easily get back. Whatever our bank is, somehow everyone else seems to have access to it, and when that happens we are hurt. An opportunity for forgiveness is born, yet we need deeper resources than just our own feeble efforts to generously give forgiveness.
We must be “rich toward God.” We have a bank to draw from that is infinite, if only we would stake our lives on it. When the measure of our worth is the favor of God toward us, our status as the Beloved of the Father, we have infinite resources to forgive. We own a richness that is limitless, one that flows directly from the heart of God. This richness gives us the resources that we need to truly forgive. Our sense of being wronged is not bottomless, our woundedness only goes so far. The love of God is our greatest treasure, and it is the well-spring from which our own forgiveness must flow. May we all have a fresh sense of the sweetness and sufficiency of the love of God for every aspect of our lives!