“Store up treasure in heaven.”
That’s what Jesus tells us. Don’t spend your energy on stuff that gets eaten up by financial declines so that you panic about how much less you are worth this week than last week.
Because, of course, if your measure of your worth is in your portfolio and your portfolio declines precipitously, then your heart will decline precipitously as well.
Isn’t it intriguing that this image Jesus paints of wealth being devoured rings so true in an economic decline? And isn’t it intriguing how much energy the people in the mirror are putting into thinking about how many more years we are going to have to work before retirement? Isn’t it intriguing how cranky and insecure and strategic we are getting?
And yet, what does it mean to store up treasure in heaven and how does that help now?
If treasures are like rewards, then the first half of Matthew 6 answers that question. Giving, praying, and fasting, done in secret, bring rewards.
You mean that if I look for people in need and help them, that is storing up treasure? But how could that have reward? We are just seeing Jesus, after all (Matthew 25).
You mean that if I am talking with God, that is storing up treasure? But it’s conversation! It is it’s own reward.
You mean that if I am going about fasting with a smile on my face, combating injustice, bringing freedom to trapped people, that is storing up treasure? But it is so fulfilling!
All three of these things that Jesus says are rewarding are rooted in deepening our relationship with God.
I’ve thought of storing up treasure as acquisition. But gold in heaven is the least valuable thing. The conversational relationship is the real treasure.
And it starts now.