The Pharisees, who were lovers of money, heard all these things, and they ridiculed him. And he said to them, “You are those who justify yourselves before men, but God knows your hearts." (Luke 16:13-15)
I don't know about you, but oftentimes I find that I care too much. I know, I know, it sounds really strange, almost like an oxymoron. I mean, how can you care too much, right? But the fact is that you really can, and we often do. At least I often do.
I actually think that's what Jesus is saying right here in this conversation with the Pharisees. They cared too much. They cared too much about what people thought. They cared too much about keeping up their image. They cared too much about their position in society. They cared too much about maintaining their reputations. They cared too much about having influence and impact. And, the truth be known, so do I. You see, when we care too much--even about things that are good--it gives us a pretty good indication that what we really care about is ourselves, not the person (or thing) that is before us at any particular moment. Our care has subtly shifted from object to subject.
Caring too much is a warning sign that something within us has gone awry, that somehow our affections have become disordered. Something has become way more important to us than it should be. In this case, with Jesus and the Pharisees, he is calling their attention to their love of money, but there are so many other things that could be inserted into that blank and the statement would still be true. Because when we care too much--even about those in our own families--the lines become blurred and we start demanding and expecting things from them that they simply cannot fully give us. And things just go downhill from there. As a matter of fact, anytime we become aware of a lack of margins or boundaries in our lives we should become suspicious that somehow we have begun to care too much, somehow our affections have become disordered. For whenever something, or someone, occupies center stage in our hearts, then that is the thing (or the person) we are truly serving. Whenever something, or someone, becomes our focal point, all else takes a back seat. It is just the way we were made.