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Faith & Insight: Should your treasure be where you have it?

By Michael Hurlbert

In Matthew 6:19-24, Jesus makes some statement that says a lot about the human condition.

Speaking to his disciples he said, “Where your treasure is there your heart will be also.”

These words tell us a lot about ourselves. It is the things a person values and invests in that will get their heart’s attention. This is their treasure. I’m sure that you can see the truth of this in your life. A quick inventory of the things that claim your time and steal your thoughts will show where your heart is at.

There are only two places in which a person can store treasure. It can be placed on earth where it is open to decay, or in heaven where it is lasting. The person who values the things of the earth will only be met with anxiety as they struggle to keep that which is destined to end.

Christians, however, are called to treasure the things of heaven and to keep focused on his kingdom. To do this means to invest fully in the things of God and to value his will above your own.

It is important to keep this in mind as we go about our day because if we become overconsumed by the things of the world it will steal our heart’s focus.

Jesus goes on to pronounce, “the eye is the lamp of the body.” This is to say that the things which we consume through our eyes will be radiated out in our lives.

This follows what Jesus has said about the heart. What a person treasures reveals where their heart is at. Our heart dictates what we focus on and consume through our eyes. Therefore, if we treasure the things of God than he will radiate out and shape our world view. In contrast, when people treasure the things of the world, it is the world that shapes their worldview.

Christians must be sure to guard their heart by placing the word of God before their eyes. This gives us a healthy world view and allows us to live in a way that brings glory to God in a world of darkness. Our lives become the lights that bring hope.

As Christians, we are to examine our lives to make sure that we are displaying the nature of God. Jesus makes the distinction between a healthy world view and an unhealthy one by comparing them to light and darkness. In this way, he challenges us, saying, “if the light inside of you is darkness, how great is that darkness.”

This is a call to consider your life and make appropriate changes. What our hearts treasure will direct our eyes and shape our lives. So, if you are not living in a way that reflects Jesus to the world, you will need to make some corrections.

It may be that to lay up treasure in heaven you will have to lay down some on earth. If there is anything a Christian value more than the kingdom of heaven, it only weighs them down.

Ultimately, Christians must not be split in their devotion to God. They cannot store their treasure in heaven and on earth, they cannot be both light and darkness, and, as Jesus would say, “you cannot serve two masters.” Many people attempt to do this. Their focus is on wealth, politics, relationships, and any other worldly matters while trying to serve God. This doesn’t work and it becomes easy for the world to steal devotion.

My challenge is for you to examine your life to see if anything is taking the place that belongs to God alone. If the cares of the world come before your devotion to God then it is time to rethink what you treasure.