The Selfish Rich Man
TEXT: Luke 12:15-21; 1 Timothy 6:6-11, 17-19
There once was a man who was very rich. He owned many houses and lots of land. His fields were wide and green. His fruit trees were loaded with fruit. His figs were the biggest. His grapevines had the most grapes. In fact, everything he planted grew wonderfully well.
After a while it was time for the harvest. What would the rich man do with all of his crops? He had more food than he could ever eat. He had more money than he could ever spend in his whole life. He built barns to store all of the food and treasures he owned. But soon his barns were so full that they couldn't hold anymore. What would he do now? He decided to tear the barns down and build bigger ones.
But he never thought about sharing with anyone. Most of the people who lived nearby had less than he had. Some were beggars, blind, or crippled. They had no homes. They would have been happy to have some bread or figs once in a while. But the rich man was too selfish to think of giving anything away. He wanted to keep everything for himself.
The rich man was pleased as he looked at what he owned. He said to himself, "I've done very well. I have enough to last me many years. I don't need to work anymore. I'll just sit back and relax. I can eat and drink and have a good time for the rest of my life."
That was not very smart, was it? He did not stop to think that God had sent the sun and rain for his crops. He never thanked God for strength to work in his fields. He only thought about himself and his riches.
But God knew what the rich man was thinking. God said, "You have been a fool. Tonight you are going to die. Who will get all these riches then?"
The rich man never did get to enjoy his riches, because he had not loved and obeyed God. He had spent his life being greedy and selfish.
This story in the Bible is a warning to us. God does not want us to let money become too important. We must not forget Him or forget to think about helping others. Heaven is more important than the things we have in this world. Someday everyone who loves and obeys God will receive treasures up there. Do you want treasures in Heaven?
The focus of this lesson is the importance of sharing. Learning to express love for others through sharing is a necessity in the primary child's life, though it is often a difficult concept to master.
The Bible account chosen to illustrate this point is the story of a rich man who thought only of himself. As a project to go with this lesson, give your child some Love Money. Use play money, old money from board games, or be creative and design your own bills from the Love Money National Bank.
Give your child twenty dollars of Love Money, all in one-dollar bills. The assignment for the week is to share with friends and family members. Each time he shares, he is allowed to present the recipient with a Love Dollar. At the end of the week, if he has distributed all his dollars, reward him with a small prize or special treat.