And I will say to my soul, “Soul, you have ample goods laid up for many years; relax, eat, drink, be merry.”’ But God said to him, ‘Fool! This night your soul is required of you, and the things you have prepared, whose will they be?’ So is the one who lays up treasure for himself and is not rich toward God.”
These verse remind me of Stephen Covey’s seven habits.
Habit number seven is, Sharpen The Saw. The Franklin Covey website explains Habit Seven as this:
“Sharpening the saw means preserving and enhancing the greatest asset you have — you. It means having a balanced program for your self renewal in the four areas of your life; physical, social/emotional, mental and spiritual.”
Two thousand years before Stephen Covey writes his book, Christ reminds us to sharpen the saw, take care of you, the individual. Most importantly Christ tells us to take care of our soul.
Christ talks as King Solomon wrote in Ecclesiastes 2:15-16:
Then I said in my heart, “What happens to the fool will happen to me also. Why then have I been so very wise?” And I said in my heart that this also is vanity. For of the wise as of the fool there is no enduring remembrance, seeing that in the days to come all will have been long forgotten. How the wise dies just like the fool!
And Ecclesiastes 2:20-23:
I turned about and gave my heart up to despair over all the toil of my labors under the sun, because sometimes a person who has toiled with wisdom and knowledge and skill must leave everything to be enjoyed by someone who did not toil for it. This also is vanity and a great evil. What has a man from all the toil and striving of heart with which he toils beneath the sun? For all his days are full of sorrow, and his work is a vexation. Even in the night his heart does not rest. This also is vanity.
These verses deal with the vanity of seeking material wealth and power. They deal with seeking worldly things to feed your soul.
Solomon writes about the vanity of toiling your whole life for worldly riches and pleasures and yet all will be left to someone who has not toiled for it. You must leave it all to someone else who will tear it all down. You’ve devoted your life to something that will be gone in an instant. It’s value is nothing.
But you did not toil for your soul, which is eternal.
Christ relates these same ideas to his disciples. He tells of some who strive their life away to acquire wealth and comfort, but in the process ignore their spiritual being, their eternal soul. And in the blink of an eye it will all be gone, “the night your soul is required of you”.
What good will all these worldly things do for your soul when the only thing left as you stand in judgement, is your soul?
Christ is telling us, as he told the Pharisees, you must sharpen your saw, you must take care of yourself, the individual. You must do it, but not with worldly things. You must lay up your soul with the riches of righteousness.
This is what Christ was telling the Pharisees in Mark 2:27:
The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath.
The day of rest was for us to take a break from the vanity of the world and nourish our soul, in whatever manner helps us feed our soul. The Sabbath is our day to “sharpen the saw” and lay up riches in heaven. It is our time to become rich in God.
It was a struggle just to stay alive in the time of Christ, and it is today, but it’s a different struggle. We need to fight the temptations laid at our feet every day. The temptations to forsake our soul and righteousness to obtain the things that others tell us we need to be happy.
So every day we need to remember the Sabbath and every day strengthen our souls through righteousness and become rich in God.
© Otis P Smith and About the Groove, 2019. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Otis P Smith and About the Groove with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.