Updated: Aug 15, 2021
The saying goes, “show me your friends and I’ll tell you who you are”, but a better character evaluation can be adapted from Matthew 6:21 which says, “show me your treasure and I’ll tell you who you are”.
What is in your heart; what do you love and cherish more than anything else? What is the thing, person or possession that you will protect at all cost?
If you listen closely enough and long enough to the words of those around you, eventually you will decipher the things that people cherish. What we love and cherish becomes engrained in our soul, character and existence, so much so that the words that we speak, exhale our deepest thoughts and desires.
Listen intently and you will hear a parent's love for their child, or you may hear bitter words stained from unforgiveness, or you will hear the infixed joy of a person who operates from a place of passion and purpose. Pay attention to what others say and discern when hearts are filled with joy, passion, pride, faith, lust, compassion, vanity, wholeness, and all the eccentricities of the human experience. Just from the words we speak.
Everyday our true treasure is on a journey from our heart, transferred to our mind, energised by our lungs, catapulted through our vocal cords and explodes on our lips to the world. “A good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart brings forth evil. For out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks.” (Luke 6:45 NKJV)
Jesus told the young ruler in Matthew 19:21 to sell his possessions and give to the poor, and then he will have treasure in heaven. Unfortunately, his possessions were more important than discipleship. Similarly the character in Jesus’s parable in Luke 12:20 misplaced his treasure, who when he yielded a large harvest, decided to build bigger barns to store his wealth. That night, he lost his life and his soul, and all his treasure remained on earth. His choice soberly begs the question that Jesus asked in Mark 8:36, “For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?”
Here is the synopsised truth of it all: “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal; but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” (Matthew 6:19-21 NKJV)
If we fail to put things, people and possessions in their proper place and context, we risk losing the one thing with eternal currency: the fate of our soul. What do you treasure the most? Can you see it, can you touch it? Can it be stolen or will it deteriorate one day? Who is your most valued treasure?
Show me your treasures and I’ll tell you what’s in your heart or rather, who is in your heart. The impartation from the verses in Matthew 6 is that our treasure, the most important of them, should be of the eternal kind. The kind that won’t die when your flesh goes to the grave. “Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul; but rather be afraid of Him who can destroy both soul and body in hell.” (Mathew 10:28 AMP). Your relationship with God through Christ Jesus must be your most valued treasure.
God lives in us by His Holy Spirit therefore “we have this treasure in earthen vessel” (2 Corinthians 4:7). Christ Jesus in us and with us, is our treasure.
At a time when families and nations are struggling financially, the temptation to treasure the mighty dollar (as necessary as it is) is understandably overwhelming. The urge to give in to fleeting wants and pursue temporal pleasure is always strong when our backs are against a wall, seemingly with no way out. Nevertheless, stand firm in your belief in Christ as your deliverer and your provider, and let your words display the true treasure of your heart in Christ Jesus.
Treasure God and be obedient to His way. Treasure His wisdom and give pre-eminence to your walk with Him. “For wisdom is better than rubies; and all the things that may be desired are not to be compared to it” (Proverbs 8:11). Run in the opposite direction of anything that will take the place of God in your life, because when it is all said and done, the only treasure that will really matter, the only treasure that will be eternal, is your heart and soul that are sold out to God. Christ Jesus "became poor, that you through His poverty might become rich." (2 Corinthians 8:9)
Ask God for wisdom to help you place things in their rightful priority. When we desire and pursue things, it should never get to the point where they become more important than the only priceless treasure: right standing with God. Some treat their cars, homes, occupations and accomplishments like gods but you, remember that Christ is your treasure. Everything must be in its rightful place, so steward with wisdom the things that God has blessed you with, but treasure Christ.
Treasure eternal life, treasure discipleship, treasure living in love and peace with your neighbours. Treasure the things that money cannot buy and that death cannot eliminate.
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