“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” (Matthew 6:19-21, NIV)
Jesus is contrasting two places—earth and heaven. More accurately, Jesus is comparing treasures—earthly treasures and heavenly treasures.
One is corruptible and insecure—subject to deterioration, corrosion, theft, inflation, planned obsolescence, market crashes and taxes. The other is imperishable and safe—it is spiritual, eternal.
This is not a ban on all possessions nor is he forbidding us to own private property. Jesus is not teaching us to neglect to save for the future. The scriptures teach that God richly provides us with everything to enjoy. (I Timothy 6:17)
Here Jesus is talking about focus and priority. He is talking about how we invest our time and energies. He is talking about things that cannot be taken from us. He is talking about things that make an eternal difference in our lives and the lives of others.
Note, Jesus does not say, where your heart is, your treasure will follow. Rather He states that your heart will follow your treasure.
That means you and I must make a concerted effort to invest in heaven. As we store treasures in heaven, our hearts will grow with love for heaven. Our feelings follow our deeds.
Dr. Wayne Shaw (R-Grove) has been a member of the Oklahoma Senate since 2014. Prior to that he served as the senior pastor at First Christian Church, Grove, for many years.