How NOT to Build a Barn
We’ve been hearing plenty lately about “Raising More Hope – A Barn Raising.” I’m not an expert in “barn raising,” but I do know something about “How NOT to build a big barn!” My information comes by way of Jesus who told a rather sobering and heart-searching story in Luke 12. (Please go and read it for yourself.)
Anyway, the story begins this way: “Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; life does not consist in an abundance of possessions.” With these few go-against-the-flow words, I’m sure Jesus quickly gained the attention of the “many thousands” in the crowd.
Jesus then went on to tell the story of a rich man who had a very abundant harvest whose reaction was to immediately and persistently give all of the credit for his blessings to himself. In fact, his self-centered and arrogant attitude is reflected repeatedly in his own words: “He thought to himself… what shall I do… my crops… this is what I’ll do… my barns… my surplus grain….”
Also, regarding his abundant provision, he never thought of anyone else but himself. Listen to these tightfisted and self-consumed words which have been passed down through the ages, “And I’ll say to myself, ‘You have plenty of grain laid up for many years. Take life easy; eat, drink and be merry.’”
We would also do well to carefully note what he did not say. After all, he chose not to say such things as, “I am so very blessed, thank you God for Your super abundant mercy and goodness.” “Father only by Your hand and goodness have You supplied me with Your grain.” “Father how should I use this blessing for Your honor?” “What do You desire for me to do with this wonderful gift?” “Who should I bless with the blessings You have given me?”
The man in this parable was called a “fool” by God! Why? Because of his excessive selfishness, greed, and because he never thought of God or others. His self-centered response to his blessing was to “tear down my barns and build bigger ones.” His action was one of pride, waste, and greed! His reason for building a big barn was not in line with “Bringing People Closer to Jesus” or in honoring God and expanding His Kingdom. This is how NOT to build a big barn!
Please know the primary purpose of our building a big barn is “Raising More Hope – A Barn Raising” and “Raising More Hope to Raze Hell.” The primary purpose is bringing more of the Hope of Jesus to this dark world. It is a way to thank God for all of His blessings and to invest what He has so generously given us to bring Him honor and glory by helping to bring many people to Jesus for many years to come. If, we are only building a big barn to shout to the world, “Hey look at us and how wonderful we are!” then, we too would be “fools!”
One more personal note. If I could do whatever I wanted and it would come to be, I would propose we raise 5.8 million dollars and give it all away to the poor and to those faithful servants here and around the world who are effectively telling others about Jesus and creating disciples. This would be my first choice. But the reality is, as awesome as it sounds, it just doesn’t work that way in this fallen world. But even so, if we will all generously join together and build a big barn and continue to lift up Jesus above all, then for years to come we can indeed, in an ever increasing way, invest millions in loving others and expanding the Kingdom of God.