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
What topic tends to dominate your thoughts when you are tossing and turning in bed? Are you worried and distraught over past due bills, making ends meet, saving for the kids’ college and putting food on the table? Do you find yourself wrestling with envy over what others have or dreaming of the perfect car, vacation or beach home?
When these thoughts get traction in our minds, our hearts are quick to follow. We head down the dangerous road of thinking, “If only I had this or that, then I’d be free to live the life I’ve always wanted,” or “If only this bill were paid…,” “If only I made this amount of money, then I’d no longer worry.”
Destination thinking is not reserved, however, for those who financially struggle. If you are in a more wealthy situation, your thoughts may sound more like “If only life could be more simple,” “If only I could just sell everything, live on a boat and travel the world,” or “If only I didn’t have the responsibility that comes with wealth.”
Ironically, the same things that some of us desire and think of as a means to freedom also stand in the way of freedom for those who have them. Money really can’t buy happiness, and the reason for this is that you drift in the direction of your money (or lack thereof). No matter how much or how little you have, your heart is as scattered as your spending.
Whether you consider yourself to be financially secure, financially struggling or you fall somewhere in-between, you are consumed with the desire for more freedom, which none of these scenarios seem to deliver. For many of you, your solution is to continue down the same path, thinking that eventually you are bound to reach some final destination.
The reality is that such a place doesn’t exist. Doing the same thing over and over again while expecting different results is a sign of insanity, yet when it comes to our financial lifestyles, it’s how most of us live. For this reason, we become consumed with more want, more worry or both.
We all yearn for freedom in our finances, but it seems like we are looking in the wrong direction for answers. Freedom in our finances isn’t found in a perfectly balanced account or having some money stashed away for a rainy day. Freedom will not be gained by ridding ourselves of all that we have either.
The Bible makes the connection that our financial issues are indicators of a spiritual problem. The more you explore these ideas, the more you will discover the link between your heart and your stuff. What you find is that you don’t know where your heart is because you have no clue where your treasure goes.
It’s easier to ignore the problem and to spend away or not think about it at all. But, this leaves one in a vulnerable state. If you don’t pay attention, it will cost you your heart. Money has a powerful influence on our hearts, and the Bible addresses this head on. The Scriptures say it’s our love of money, not money itself, that comes between God and us.
If this is the case, then freedom in your finances begins by understanding what God has in mind for you financially. Seeing your money the way God sees your money will enable you to see everything that you have as a gift because it all belongs to Him anyway – it’s God’s. What you have is what you have been trusted with. Generosity allows you to freely give because God has freely given.
- How does money serve as a revealer of our heart?
God, help me to reflect on where I set my eyes for security and control. Help me to loosen my grip on my finances so that I can display Your heart through my generosity. Let me be an excellent steward of the things I have been given. In Your name, Jesus. Amen.