Matthew 6:19 – “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal.”
We all have basic needs and the three most fundamental are food, clothing and shelter. These are provided for us when we are young but when we start to earn for ourselves then we begin to provide for ourselves. I got my first pay-packet when I was 14 years old, working in a bakery three days after school and all-day Saturday. I enjoyed having my own money to buy my own clothes, (and mum enjoyed the free buns I got to take home on Saturday night). I quickly learned the value of money and having to choose what I needed over what I wanted.
Jesus tried to point out the dangers of accumulating what we do not need and that material possessions will eventually destroy. His advice was not to put your energy into storing up an abundance of earthly goods; you don’t need to possess everything that catches your eye. In Matthew 19 we read the conversation between Jesus and a very rich young man who, when he heard, “sell what you possess and give to the poor and you will have treasure in heaven”, went away in great sorrow because he had great wealth.
Jesus was warning against storing up greedily for personal satisfaction because He knew that the dark part of us is never satisfied, it always craves more. He reminds us to “take care, and be on your guard against all covetousness, for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions” (Luke1215). What a sobering verse.
Invest your time and energy in the things of God and the extension of His Kingdom. Invest in kindness and compassion, in goodness and generosity toward others, “lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven… for where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”