Where your treasure is, there will your heart be also
Following His discussion of three religious practices – alms-giving, prayer and fasting (Matthew 6:1-18) – Jesus returns to the topic of giving. But here He doesn’t speak in terms of “alms” but of treasure.
“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.” (Matthew 6:19-21)
Jesus is not speaking about spare cash. And He’s not merely speaking of money. He’s speaking about everything of value - whether it’s money in the bank, or our pension or our possessions or our house, our car – whatever we consider our ‘treasure.’
And Jesus has a top investment tip. You might label it insider trading but Jesus knows that earthly treasure is about to take a dive. Meanwhile “treasures in heaven” are set to go through the roof. So Jesus appeals to our good financial sense and says, Switch! Stop investing in falling stock, it will crash spectacularly. Use earthly wealth in the service of the Kingdom, that’s the only investment that will last.
But Jesus doesn’t simply want our money. He wants our hearts:
“For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.”
Wherever our wealth goes, so does our heart.
We all know how this works don’t we? Think of the last big purchase you made. If you’ve spent a significant amount of money on something, what has your heart done in the immediate aftermath? If you’re anything like me, you’ll instantly regret it, or wonder if you could have got it cheaper, or whether you should have gone for the more expensive model. And/or you’ve been engrossed in it, you’re worried about breaking it, you’re wondering whether you now need two of them. The fact of the matter is, when you invest money you also invest your heart.
And so notice the order of Jesus’ words here. He does not say: “Where your heart is the treasure will follow.” Jesus might have said that, and there might be some truth to that. But what Jesus says is “Where your treasure is, there your heart will be.” Your heart will follow your money. For good or for ill, our hearts follow our money.
Perhaps you have started giving to a missionary and then gained a fresh interest in their work. Suddenly you’re praying more for them, you’re more eager to hear how things are going, your ears prick up when their country is mentioned on the news. Where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
Do you want a heart for missions? Here’s one way: Give. Do you want a heart that is more tender towards the poor? Give. Do you want a heart for the work of your local church? Do you want a fresh enthusiasm for its work and fellowship? Give. And watch as your heart follows your treasure.