Our Attitude Toward Money and Stuff
Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves do not break in or steal; for where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. – Matthew 6:19-21
My father handed down to me a well-worn bit of sage advice when it comes to saving money. “Get what you can, can what you get and sit on the can.” If we’re talking good stewardship in regards to personal finances, then it’s wise advice, and that’s one thing. But if we’re talking about setting our heart and living our lives putting our hopes and future dreams on them, well, that’s not so wise and a whole ‘nother thing altogether. Let’s face it, people will steal from their mothers won’t they? That mean, mean, mean green.
Our Lord is speaking of the wisdom of living for true treasures that are eternal versus the folly of putting all your eggs of hope in a worldly basket of money and stuff that’s not eternal. It’s instruction on discerning the difference between the foolishness of coveting as opposed to the wisdom and virtue of being content with what God has given you.
We’ve all done it at some point in our lives – setting our hearts too intently on something, or someone, that we shouldn’t have. I can honestly say that one of the longest, most painful life-experiences I’ve ever had, so far, was a result of such foolishness. I have been in the past like the old mule that wouldn’t give you his attention until you smacked him over the snout with a 2×4. God has a whole barn full of them, and he never runs out. Thankfully, He uses them wisely, for our good and His glory, but it still smarts.
Why is putting too much stock in money and stuff foolish? Because when we do, we make them, whatever it is – food, clothing, shelter, wealth of any kind – the end goal of our entire existence here on earth, and that’s sinful isn’t it? Yes it is. It’s sinful because all good things that we receive should be used to promote and do the will of God to His glory.
- It’s foolish because if you live for stuff, you may or may not get it.
- It’s foolish because if you do get it, you may or may not keep it; God may take it away from you.
- It’s foolish because if you do get to keep that stuff, it may become a curse to you and your family, causing divisions, discontent and who knows what else!
- It’s foolish because if you do get to keep them, and they don’t become a curse to you and your family, eventually, it’s you that will be leaving that stuff: “You can’t take it with you.”
It’s the same with every human given the gift of life and any length of existence on God’s green earth: Money and stuff are more likely to be a heavy burden on us all than a gift of God that we carry with us to our eternal reward with Christ.
I’m not advocating that anyone should seek poverty, but we all should remember that while poverty is not a sin, covetousness and pride, are. Store the treasures of your heart in heaven, and they will last forever. In the meantime, as good stewards of the gifts and blessings that God gives us while here, it’s ok to “Get what you can, can what you get, and sit on the can.” Just remember, it’s only money and stuff, not the treasures of our hearts.