Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust consume and where thieves break in and steal; but store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust consumes and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
Matthew 6:19-21 (NRSV)
According to Miriam-Webster’s dictionary, treasures are defined as three possible separate things:
- Something valuable (such as money, jewels, gold, or silver) that is hidden or kept in a safe place.
- Something that is very special, important or valuable.
- A person who is greatly loved or valued especially because of being very helpful.
Any of these three would be a good option to correlate to Christ’s encouraging of us to “collect treasures for [ourselves] in heaven, where moth and rust don’t eat them and where thieves don’t break in and steal them.”
It is crucial that we focus on storing our treasures in the heavenly vault.
Earthly treasures can be lost, stolen, seized or depleted by any number of factors outside of our control, so maybe we should not view them as preciously as we view God or even other people?
This then leads to a question I am sure God would ask us: “What do we do with our own treasures?”
Or, maybe more fittingly, what do we do with the gifts, treasures, blessings and possible abundance God has given us?
Both God, society and the world teach almost the exact same thing when it comes to finances and treasures. But the world teaches us to:
- Earn our money.
- Enjoy it.
- Repay our debt.
- Save for future needs.
- Give (if and when anything is left over).
God teaches us the same thing!
However, the major difference in how the world teaches us and what God teaches us is the order in which we follow that list. Here’s what God teaches us about financial management:
- Earn our money.
- Repay debt.
- Enjoy our money.
God wants us to give—and give abundantly—what we have and contribute to making this world a better place.
The essence of good stewardship is best accomplished by putting and focusing our hearts in the right place: By giving generously, focusing on sharing our blessings, and exuding the utmost amount of compassion, kindness, and grace that we can muster.