The 3 Most Deadly Mistakes Nearly Everyone Makes

One of my favorite parables from Jesus is found in Luke 12:16-20:

Then he told them a story: “A rich man had a fertile farm that produced fine crops. He said to himself, ‘What should I do? I don’t have room for all my crops.’ Then he said, ‘I know! I’ll tear down my barns and build bigger ones. Then I’ll have room enough to store all my wheat and other goods. And I’ll sit back and say to myself, “My friend, you have enough stored away for years to come. Now take it easy! Eat, drink, and be merry!” ’ “But God said to him, ‘You fool! You will die this very night. Then who will get everything you worked for?’” (Luke 12:16–20, NLT)

In this short parable, Jesus identifies the three most deadly mistakes we can make.


Jesus is not preaching against profitability or planning, he’s targeting pride. Six times this guy uses the “I” word.

The danger is when we live with a worldview
that believes the world revolves around you!

Like this man, we too often ask WHAT when we should have asked WHO:

  • Who am I living for?
  • Who is the focus of my dreams?
  • Who is the center of my life?

When we start with the right WHO then we’ll know what to do.


The man in this story made the fatal mistake of presumption.

He presumed tomorrow is promised and that God’s blessings were for him.

While we worry about the DURATION of our life; how long will I live

God worries about the DONATION of our life; how much I will give.

At funerals we often speak of the kind of life the departed lived HERE, when we need to be more concerned with the kind of life we’ll live THERE.

Missionary C.T. Studd wrote,

“Only one life ’twill soon be past,
Only what’s done for Christ will last.”



We see in the parable what he did, but what we don’t see is what he left undone.

He built a business, but neglected a family.

He made money, but neglected to make friends.

He focused on the temporal, but put off the eternal.

Natalie Babbitt in Tuck Everlasting said, “Don’t fear death; fear the un-lived life.”

In order to live a life that is ready for death:

  • Put God at the center
  • Make every day count for Him
  • Only put off until tomorrow what you are willing to die having left undone


What would you add?

  • Scott Creager
    Posted at 12:36h, 25 January Reply

    This reminds me of what the great British philosopher Benny Hill once said “Treat every day like it’s your last, because one day you will be right. “

  • Laura Grove
    Posted at 00:44h, 02 February Reply

    So Love digging Deeper in his words. Good to also have translates to assist in Process…

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