Lay not up for yourself treasures upon earth….But lay up for yourself treasures in Heaven…(Matt. 6:19-20)
The urge to accumulate “stuff” is a constant dilemma we deal with in this day and age. Commercials, Social Media and the latest trends only add to the incredible desire to constantly buy and store whatever it might be. Clothing, jewelry, gadgets, toys etc. The more possessions, the more money, the more properties, the more treasure, the better. So we tend to think. But will these possessions last forever?
God told Adam after the fall, “In the sweat of your face you shall eat bread, Till you return to the ground, For out of it you were taken; For dust you are, And to dust you shall return” (Genesis 3:19). Without sounding too gloomy, nothing we have here on this earth we can take with us after we “return to dust.” Nothing is inherently wrong with wealth, as God has blessed many of his saints generously. We are also called to work hard and be successful. Therefore, we should not misunderstand this verse to mean that there is no point to work hard, be motivated, and even obtain possessions. However, when we start being obsessive about accumulation of wealth, forgetting God who has given us everything, life becomes toxic.
So how do we accumulate treasures in heaven? It might be safe to say that we all know a thing or two about how we can accumulate wealth here on this earth. But what does God want from us so that we may obtain the Heavenly Kingdom? God tells us “where your treasure is, there your heart will be also” (Matthew 6:21). We have to be conscious that our hearts are not set on materialistic matters, but that we care about others and about our salvation.
By treating people right, forgiving those who wrong us, and helping those in need, we are certainly accumulating treasures in heaven. “But when you give a feast, invite the poor, the maimed, the lame, the blind. And you will be blessed, because they cannot repay you; for you shall be repaid at the resurrection of the just.” (Luke 14:13-14). Even though our reward does not come in this lifetime, we are storing up good credit in heaven which is far more valuable. Sometimes we choose to focus our lives on what is temporary in this earth, while God has presented us with a much more valuable eternal life in heaven. Since nothing is worth more than our relationship with Jesus Christ, let’s focus on what really matters.
God wants us to be self-sufficient and work hard. But we are not to live in lavish luxury on the expense of helping others. Choosing to live a more simple life is certainly more pleasing to God. We always want bigger, better and more as we are in constant competition with those around us. God says “Take heed and beware of covetousness, for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of the things he possesses” (Luke 12:15). We need to give charitably, and not hold any earthly possession too dear to our hearts. Our hearts should be focused on God and on an eternal life with Him.