“For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”
What do you value most about your life? Perhaps it’s your home: you might have worked very hard indeed, putting in lots of overtime and squirrelling away every penny you have until you could afford to put down a deposit on the home of your dreams. Maybe it’s your car: perhaps there’s a particular model that you have always wanted, and you’ve finally managed to buy it. Maybe your Sunday afternoons are spent washing, cleaning, polishing and chamois-ing. Perhaps you’re like me and are a bit of a gadget fiend, lusting after the latest bit of tech that promises to simplify life.
On one level, there’s nothing wrong with any of these things. We all need somewhere to live, a car is a necessity for many, and gadgets that are useful and make us more efficient are often a good thing. In today’s verse, though, there is a warning to us all – especially those of us who live in the materialistic western world. Do you treasure your home, your car, or your gadgets above all else? If you were told to sell your house to rent something smaller, and give the money away, could you do it? Similarly, if you were asked to sell your car and rely on public transport, or offload your gadgets, and give the money to feed the starving in Africa, would you be able to? It is where we invest our time and money that reveals the state of our heart, and, if we are Christians, our heart should be devoted to serving God. We should trust that God will always provide what we need to live, and should demonstrate God’s love by giving to those who are more in need than we are. What’s more, it should be obvious to those who see us that our hearts are devoted to God, not to the treasure that materialistic societies value.
The short verse we look at today is hugely challenging, and I write this reflection as one who is greatly challenged by it: I certainly need to heed Jesus’ teaching in this area more than I currently do. Maybe that’s something that you and I can prayerfully reflect on in the coming weeks.