While I was thinking about the Bailout that Almost Was last night and the Bible, the Lord brought a parable to mind, and I saw it in a different light.
This parable, found in the Gospel of Luke, was used by Christ to talk about the fact that we should focus on “laying up” treasures in heaven, rather than treasures on Earth. Last night, however, I thought about it terms of credit and debt.
And he spake a parable unto them, saying, The ground of a certain rich man brought forth plentifully: And he thought within himself, saying, What shall I do, because I have no room where to bestow my fruits? And he said, This will I do: I will pull down my barns, and build greater; and there will I bestow all my fruits and my goods. And I will say to my soul, Soul, thou hast much goods laid up for many years; take thine ease, eat, drink, [and] be merry.
But God said unto him, [Thou] fool, this night thy soul shall be required of thee: then whose shall those things be, which thou hast provided?
So [is] he that layeth up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God. – Luke 12:16-21
A Heavenly Focus
The lesson of this parable is two fold—at least to me. The first thing we learn is the importance of a heavenly focus. If we are focused on building our treasure here, and not there, we are fools. This is because death is inevitable, and when we stand before our Creator we cannot take our money with us.
You Don’t Know Tomorrow
This is the lesson, however, I had last night. The man was a fool because his plans did not reflect reality. He was planning for a tomorrow when there wasn’t any.
This is the same thing that you do when you swipe that credit card to pay for something. You believe that, when that bill comes due, you’ll have the money to meet the obligation. Debt, by definition, is paying for something with tomorrow’s money.
Now, whereas the rich man above ended up losing much in death, you would probably actually end up better since you wouldn’t have to pay the tab (your estate might—and that means you may end up leaving you kids with the debt).
The problem is, though, that it’s much more likely that you could end up without a job, or in a difficult circumstance, and that money that you borrowed you won’t be able to pay back.
Hence the lesson of this bailout, and what I got from the parable, is that it’s important to live for today rather than counting on tomorrow. Tomorrow may not come, or it may not bring the same things that we see every day. In which case, it’s better that you’ve been current, rather than behind.