What Do You Treasure?

A few weeks ago I was reading in Matthew 6, and though I’ve read it several times I was convicted anew by verses 19-21.

“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)

I’ve been wrestling with that last statement for over a week now. How can I know what I’m truly treasuring? So I’ve been compiling a list. If you have additions I’d love to add to my list.

1. What am I investing in?
2. What do I want to be true in 5, 10, 25 years?
3. What is the first thing I look forward to when I wake up in the morning?
4. What would I do with an unexpected extra hour in my day today?
5. What would I do if I was given an unexpected $10,000?

One of the reasons I’ve been particularly convicted by this passage in the past week is that my wife and I are in the process of selling our home and buying another one. I’ve found this process of house hunting to be a microcosm of my spiritual life in some ways. The things I prefer or demand in a house reflects what I’m treasuring. For instance, do I want a big living room and kitchen for entertaining? What about a fancy bathtub and master bath for myself and my wife? Are we willing to spend more money on upgraded cabinets or an upgraded deck? The things I treasure come out in these decisions.

Inevitably I’m convicted of an almost secretive materialism that lurks within me, but doesn’t show itself as boldly as some in our culture. But it’s still there. Ecclesiastes 5 has something to say about materialism.

10] He who loves money will not be satisfied with money, nor he who loves wealth with his income; this also is vanity. [11] When goods increase, they increase who eat them, and what advantage has their owner but to see them with his eyes? [12] Sweet is the sleep of a laborer, whether he eats little or much, but the full stomach of the rich will not let him sleep.
[13] There is a grievous evil that I have seen under the sun: riches were kept by their owner to his hurt, [14] and those riches were lost in a bad venture. And he is father of a son, but he has nothing in his hand. [15] As he came from his mother’s womb he shall go again, naked as he came, and shall take nothing for his toil that he may carry away in his hand. (Ecclesiastes 5:10-15 ESV)

I’ll finish with some observations by Randy Alcorn from this passage that are quite helpful.

1. The more you have, the more you want. (10).
2. The more you have, the less you’re satisfied. (10)
3. The more you have, the more people (including government) will come after it. (11)
4. The more you have, the more you realize it’s of little benefit except to look at. (11)
5. The more you have, the more you have to worry about. (12)
6. The more you have, the more you can hurt yourself by holding on to it. (13)
7. The more you have, the more you have to lose. (14)
8. The more you have, the more you’ll leave behind. (15)

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