The Biggest Slice of the Pie
Jesus warns against selfishness and greed.
Two pieces of pie. One large and one small.
Then he said to them, "Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; a man's life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions." Luke 12:15 (NIV)
Yum, yum! Look what I have. Two slices of pie. If I were to let you choose one of these slices of pie to eat, which one would you choose? I think I would probably choose the large slice, wouldn't you? That reminds me of a story about a brother and sister named Jessica and Will.
One day Jessica and Will came in from school and wanted a snack. Their mother had baked a pie earlier in the week and there was just enough left for each of them to have a slice. "Let's have a piece of pie," suggested Will. "I'll get the pie while you get us a glass of milk." When Will sliced the pie, it turned out like these two slices. One slice was much larger than the other one. Jessica poured each of them a glass of milk and sat down at the table. Will brought the pie and placed the small slice in front of Jessica and kept the large slice for himself.
"Look what you have done!" cried Jessica. "You gave me the small slice of pie and kept the big slice for yourself."
"Well, how would you have done it?" Will asked.
"If I were serving the pie," said Jessica, "I would have given you the large slice and kept the smaller slice for myself."
"Well, what are you complaining about? That's exactly what I did!" Will and Jessica both laughed and began eating their pie.
We might laugh at that story, but selfishness and greed is a very serious subject. Every day we see people who not only want the biggest slice of the pie for themselves, they want it all! Jesus told a story about a man who was like that.
The man in Jesus' story was very rich. He had a large, fertile farm which produced very good crops. "What should I do?" the man said to himself. "I have had such a large harvest that I don't have room in my barns to store all of it."
What do you think the man did? He could have shared some of what he had with those who didn't have very much. Do you think that is what the man did? No, instead he said, "I know what I will do. I will tear down my barns and build bigger ones. Then I will say to myself, 'You have plenty of everything. Enjoy it. Eat, drink, and be merry.'"
God said to the rich man, "You fool! You will die this very night. Then who will get everything?"
God is good and he has given most of us more than we need. The question is, what will we do with what God has given to us? Will we share it with those who don't have as much, or will we greedily keep it for ourselves? Remember the warning that Jesus gave to the listeners of his story. "Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed."
Father, you have blessed most of us with more than we need. Help us to be generous and to share with those who may not have as much. Amen.