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. Matt. 6
Chances are you’ve heard or read this passage of scripture before. Sometimes we hear the same passages over and over and we miss details we should see. Read through the passage again. Do you see that Jesus says “where your treasure is…your heart will be”.
Often we tend to think of this backwards. We think where our heart is our treasure will be. Jesus said where our treasure is our heart will be. This means what we place value on, what we hold back for ourselves, what we treasure will determine the placement of our heart.
Using the definition of the word treasure, let’s consider the implications of the words of Christ.
The first definition of the verb treasure is to keep carefully. What we value we will protect. At night we lock the doors to our homes and our cars because we place value on them and their contents. If we leave our doors unlocked we are signalling to the world our feelings towards our home and all it contains. What we love, we protect.
Understanding this principle will help you understand people. When someone gets angry about something, consider what treasure of their heart is being threatened. In the same way, when you are irrationally angry, consider how and why you are feeling threatened. This will help you determine your true feelings toward people, God, and things, and it will help you correct areas where your thinking is out of alignment with Christ.
What you love, you will protect. Check the vaults of your life, both literal and mental and emotional. Are your vaults filled with earthly treasure or heavenly treasure?
Secondly, to treasure something is to cherish it. To cherish something is to care for it with gentleness. Anyone who has held a baby, especially their own child, can understand this concept. When you hold a baby you cherish it because you must. Babies are fragile and delicate and need to be cherished and held carefully. We do the same with our treasures.
In Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, one of the characters (Cameron) describes how much his father loves his classic car. Cameron remarks, “He never drives it, he only rubs it with a diaper.” Sadly, Cameron makes this remark because his father in the film was cherishing the wrong thing. Instead of cherishing his son, he cherished a car. We often make the same mistake.
We should care for our treasures, but only when they are heavenly treasures. The treasures of this world are passing away. Let us place value on that which lasts: people, love, creation, expressions of joy, peace, Jesus Christ…and so on.
PUT AWAY FOR FUTURE USE
The final definition of the verb treasure is to put away for future use. Sometimes we put treasures away with no future purpose in mind. We store things in our attic and they sit and get old and serve no purpose. What we treasure should have value and purpose.
When we say treasure we generally think of money before anything else. Our treasure (our money) is in the bank. Well no one puts their money in the bank with the intention of never using it for its intended purpose. Our heavenly treasure should be no different.
What good is it to store up love in our heavenly bank if we never intend to use it to love God and others. As we store away eternal treasures, let us not consider them as objet d’art to look at and never use. If we make our heavenly treasures into the guest bathroom towels we are robbing them of their purpose and value.
What you treasure you will protect, you will care for, and you will use for its intended purpose. Consider your life. Consider what you treasure. Determine what things in your life meet the criteria of treasure. As you open those vaults, both literal and figurative, you will discover within them your very heart.
From your heart flows your thinking, so if your heart is nestled among earthly, temporal things your thinking will reflect its placement. But if your heart rests with Christ in the eternal then your thinking will reflect His thinking.