Thursday, May 2, 2013

For Where Your Treasure Is....

For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.
Matthew 6:21

That is a verse that is often quoted from the pulpit, as a basis to encourage the faithful to lay up treasures in heaven. That would be correct. In context that is exactly what Jesus was teaching. However, I think there is a lot more to that verse than meets the eye.

First consider a pretty obvious application. If you show me your checkbook and your credit card statement, I can make a pretty good guess about the condition of your heart. Your treasure generally flows in the direction of your heart. If you are skimping on food in order to put your children in a first class private school. That says something about your heart. If 25% of your take home salary goes to a monthly car payment for that Porsche sitting in your driveway, it tells me something else. Sadly, the day may come when this will no longer be true. Your heart will no longer be in that Porsche, but your treasure could continue to flow in that general direction.

There are other dimensions of truth in this statement. Perhaps your greatest treasure is time. How do you spend it? Where your time is there will your heart be also is equally true. Do you spend your time in night school bettering your chances for promotion? That tells me something about the condition of your heart. Do you spend your time coaching your kid’s soccer team? That tells a different story about your heart. Do you spend your time watching the Redskins or Dancing with the Stars? That tells still another story.

This teaching can be flipped. It is still true. Look deeply into your heart. Where does your emotional energy flow? That is a pretty good indication of what you treasure. If you see your children in your heart, that is a good thing. If you see avarice or wrath or lust or even your home theater in your heart, you might want to change your path.

Maintaining balance in a heart that tends to tip towards self and sin can get pretty tricky. Consider this blog. I expend a lot of time and emotional energy trying to convince people they can change their life for the better. That is a good thing. I also spend a lot of time worrying about MY money. Jesus warns us that man can not serve both God and Money. I guess I am teaching others how to find their way safely across a minefield even while I am transversing the same minefield. Hmm…. Something for me to think about.

The point is not condemnation but self awareness. Learning to manage money or any aspect of our life begins when we wake up. It is so easy to drift through life in a deluded slumber. There is so much to do, so much to distract us from what we really want, health; love; joy; peace. Look at the ebb and flow of your treasures, money, time, and emotional energy as you journey through this vale of tears. Don’t make things worse than are or try to sugarcoat the truth. Just look into your own heart. Accept what you see. If you have made mistakes, forgive yourself. If you face problems, even problems that are not of your own making, just accept that they exist.

Remember, when you know the truth, the truth will set you free.

Treasures in Heaven

19 “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal.
20 But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal.
21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
22 “The eye is the lamp of the body. If your eyes are healthy, your whole body will be full of light.
23 But if your eyes are unhealthy, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light within you is darkness, how great is that darkness!
24 “No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.

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