“And He said to them, “You are those who justify yourselves before men, but God knows your hearts. For what is highly esteemed among men is an abomination in the sight of God.” -Luke 16:15
Even for the Christian, the pull to go after wealth and the things that our world and culture count as important is very strong. I can find myself looking around at the world, and wanting the successful American life that so many I know are enjoying. But, what God says here is a very strong statement: What men consider the best, God considers the worst.
I think it is interesting that later in this chapter two men are shown (the rich man and Lazarus) from a temporal and then an eternal standpoint. Lazarus was a disease-riddled beggar for his time on earth, while the rich man enjoyed wealth and the best things this world had to offer. Yet, after they both died (as everyone does) Lazarus was in Abraham’s bosom preparing for heaven for all eternity, while the rich man was to be tormented in flames for all-time.
The physical eye-test of these two men while they were on earth would tell us we would much rather be the rich man and enjoy the ease and comfort of wealth, but without a doubt the truly blessed man was the one who will spend eternity with God in heaven.
Don’t let the pull of our culture, our greed, and our eyes cause us to strive to be the rich man, but let us seek after Jesus and enjoy best life on this earth (one of peace, joy, and true fulfillment) and the best life to come.
“whereas you do not know what will happen tomorrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away.” -James 4:14
“Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal; but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” -Matthew 6:19-21