Writing 101, Day Twenty: The Things We Treasure‏

I seem to have here yet another post on treasuring things. I see someone has a mindset that’s going to get them into a lot of trouble one day, so I’m happy to write a treatise on the dangers of treasuring things in the hope it will help somebody.

Treasuring things sounds so simple, almost inviting and certainly innocuous, but is it really?

“What things do you treasure?” the devil asks.

The simple fail to see the subtile nature of this question and is punished.

Not satisfied, the devil wraps the subtile question up in a slightly different package and asks it again:

“What is your most prized possession?”

The simple cave in and is punished.

“What are you going on about?” you ask. You roll your eyes and sigh, because I’m just making a big ado about nothing (and saying things about the devil, to boot).

Well, it really is simple.

Matthew 13: 44-46

Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal:

But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal:

For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.

Treasure and Close-upYour treasure leads your heart, not the other way around. Your heart leads your actions and decisions. Your actions and decisions affect your life. A treasure is no simple thing to have. Your sweet little treasure can tie you and handcuff you to a place or situation you really ought not to be in. Your innocent treasure can lead you astray from what’s best for you. Your treasure will corrode, or decay, or be broken or be stolen. Since your heart lies with your treasure, what happens to your treasure will also happen to your heart.

Would you trust so important a part of your life as your heart to a material possession? I certainly hope not! What’s more likely is that you’ll invest your heart in your interpersonal relationships and treasure the people that are important to you. While there’s nothing wrong with loving your loved ones, considering them your treasures or, even worse, most prized possessions, should be a source of deep concern to you. Possessions? People? Really? Possessing people really does call for some serious self-examination.

The problem with holding relationships as treasures is that your treasure is temporal. No relationship, no matter how precious, how strong, how loving or how fulfilling, lasts forever. People and situations change. Feelings change. People, even your children, the fruit of your loins, lead their own lives, chart their own courses and will one day have to depart this earthly frame and give an account for the deeds done in their bodies, whether they be good or evil. In other words, someday you’re going to lose these precious treasures in jars of clay. How will you cope when that day comes?

The Bible tells us clearly not to lay up treasures on earth, material or otherwise. God understands that any treasure on earth will hold your heart, but not for long. You, on the other hand, will continue for a very long time past the lifespan of your earthly treasures. How empty you will be with your heart rent from you along with your temporal treasure while you’re facing eternity. Eternity is a very long time. Don’t think you’ll be around that long? What if you’re wrong? Dead wrong?

Lay up for yourself eternal treasures, the kind that will go the distance. Clearly, these eternal treasures can’t be things or possessions. They can’t be material and most certainly can’t be temporal. You are instructed to lay up treasures in heaven. You’re even given clues to the nature of your true treasures. They must be incorruptible and unstealable. So what are they?

Your first and most precious treasure is the gift of salvation, freely given by Jesus when he died on the cross as the sacrificial lamb to take away the sins of the whole world. Once you’ve accepted this gift, you’re ready to start living a meaningful life on earth that will gain you heavenly rewards. As you obey Jesus’ commands and start seeking the kingdom of God and all his righteousness, all the treasures you could desire will be added unto you. You’ll see your earthly relationships become richer and more meaningful as you grow in love. You’ll have hope, so you won’t need to cling to anyone or anything and hold them/it as your “treasure.” You’ll be able to see beyond the temporal and start understanding your true priorities. You’ll grow in grace and abound in all things. You’ll lack nothing, so you’ll have no need to treasure the material things of this life. You’ll gain perspective and you’ll grow, grow, grow.

Of course, if you grab on to your earthly treasure for dear life and refuse to relinquish it, you’ll be stuck in the same spot for a very long time.

Someone once told me, “If you don’t release what you’re holding on to, you simply won’t have space for God to fill your hands.”

That profound statement struck a chord. I released everything. I stopped treasuring things. I let go and I let God. Just like He promised, I’ve never regretted letting go of things. I’ve gone from rags to riches and from riches to rags until I learned to be rich in heavenly treasures. I have everything I need for life and godliness. I have material things and I have rich, deep, meaningful relationships. I have no regrets.

My heart is seated with Christ in heavenly places. I have here no treasures and no prized possessions, yet I have everything.

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