For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
Where is your treasure? I suppose a better question would be, what is your treasure? For some, it’s money or wealth. For others, the people around you. For still others, it might be that career that defines who you think you are, the diploma hanging on the wall, your possessions or home. Or maybe your treasure is something intangible: pride in accomplishment, independence, pride.
Well, Jesus tells us there is where ‘your heart will be also.’ This doesn’t sound too bad. After all, if you care about something, you will take care of it and preserve it, right? Isn’t that what we are supposed to do, be good stewards of what we have? Trust me, I am struggling with this right now, as we desire to sell the house we are living in and move to another. I want to lose as little money as possible on the house so that we have sufficient for another. But am I desiring that for my sake or because I want to be a good steward of the resources we have been given? (By the way, I haven’t reached a conclusion on that yet.)
Dear readers, let’s examine the context of this statement, which, at first glance, seems so simple. “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth…” is where this seems to begin. Okay, but isn’t that where we are – on earth? Why wouldn’t we? Well, because this is “where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal.” Now we begin to see a hint – things here on earth don’t last. How much time, effort, money, should you pour into them? The reality is that these will all pass away, or can be taken away, in an instant sometimes. And where does that leave us, if your heart, your definition of who you are, is bound to something that is no longer there? Let’s read on.
“(B)ut lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do no break in and steal.” ‘Treasures in heaven?’ What might they be? When we turn the page backwards, and read the paragraphs prior to this, we start to see a glimpse of what those treasures that last might be.
Seven times in the paragraphs preceding ours, Jesus uses the word “reward.” In a series of contrasts, he illustrates actions and behaviors that the Father will or will not reward. The bottom line is, what is your motive in doing something? If you make a big show of any right action – charitable giving, praying, fasting, anything – so that men will praise you, then you have gotten your reward. But doing this for God the Father, for His glory and not your own, that will reap rewards in heaven. So I need to ask myself always, ‘Is this about me, or is it about You, Father?” What is the motive behind my actions?
May I always seek to store up treasure that lasts forever, and nothing that is here today but gone tomorrow, Lord!
“Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. (Matthew 6: 19-21, ESV)