Self the Wrong Centre
Luke 12:16-21
And he spoke a parable to them, saying, The ground of a certain rich man brought forth plentifully:…

— My fruits, and my goods, and my soul, and my barns. That is all wrong. He has narrowed down things to a point. He has made himself the centre of reckoning; he has constituted his own individuality into the standard of life. But surely a man may say "my soul"? No. Only in a secondary sense, at least, may he say that. "For all souls are Mine," saith the Lord. The fundamental error in life is that a man should call himself his own. And until that deadly, fatal reasoning is driven out of him, he will never take hold of life by the right end. The discussion is not, "Is what I have in my hand my property or not?" My friend, your hand itself is not your own. Why, then, be wasting your life in some little peddling debate about what you hold in your hand? No man can live wisely, deeply, truly, until he has got out of the notion that he is his own property. Herein is the great mystery of the Christian faith: Ye are not your own; ye are bought, ye belong to another. Glorify God in your body and your spirit, which are God's. I do not, therefore, follow a man into any debate, when he says, "My barns, my fruits, my goods." I let him chatter on; but when he says, "My soul," I arrest him I He may fight all day long about his barns and his fruits and his goods, and no useful result would testify to our wordy debate. But if I can convince a man that his soul is not his own, except in a secondary sense; that it is God's; that it is a bought soul; and that it must take its law and its way from the utterances of God — I shall have brought the man to the right point from which to start all the courses and all the discipline of his life. Is not selfishness at the root of all evil? Is not a man little in proportion as he debates everything in the light of his own personality?

(J. Parker, D. D.)

Parallel Verses
KJV: And he spake a parable unto them, saying, The ground of a certain rich man brought forth plentifully:

WEB: He spoke a parable to them, saying, "The ground of a certain rich man brought forth abundantly.

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