What are we talking about today?

Some days have themes. I don't necessarily post something in each of these topic areas every week.

Sunday: Church-related or spiritual things.
Monday: Running.
Tuesday: Books.
Wednesday: Transportation.
Friday: Green living.

26 June 2011

Never Trust a Moth

I sat down to write a post about the peace of Christ ruling in your hearts, and then remembered that I did that last week. I told you that I'm losing my mind early.

So, how about this instead: "Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and 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" (Matthew 6:19-20, NAS).

When I was a kid and heard this verse, I had this mental picture of a celestial me in the hereafter, swimming around in my heavenly treasure much like Scrooge McDuck, because I certainly didn't have any earthly treasure. (What kid does?) These days, while the only thing I really fear someone outright stealing is my beloved bicycle, I do have a worry of a fire or tornado or whatnot destroying irreplaceable items, like scrapbooks and photo albums. And generally, worry along those lines leads me to wondering if my treasure is on earth after all, and if I wouldn't be better off getting rid of everything so I wouldn't be so concerned for the well-being of my stuff.

While I do think Jesus warned against greed, I don't think he warned against scrapbooks. So occasional conscience pangs aside, I don't really worry about my attachment to mementos. But there is the other half of the verse: Laying up treasure in heaven. I often hear this verse invoked in moments of great trial, that such-and-such a person is laying up treasure in heaven by enduring a cruddy situation here on earth. (I also hear it used slightly less piously in reference to putting up with irritating people; I'm not sure that we're meant to self-pronounce laying up treasure just because we nodded & smiled all through Mrs. Across-the-Road's boring story.) And I don't dispute that, but I do wonder what ordinary actions constitute "laying up treasure". Loving your neighbour? Having integrity? Remembering to thank God through the bad times and the good? Looking out for the less fortunate? I would consider all those to be good treasure-laying activities.

What do you think?


Anonymous said...

I think part of "laying up treasure in heaven" is the act of giving up treasure here on earth. Sharing what we have with others. Giving with no thought of return, not even so much as a thank you. It is hard today to give without being noticed.

Deniz Bevan said...

I think all those little things must count, because they do sort of add up to big picture things, no? If our minds are constantly filled with irritation at others' foibles, criticism of the way everyone else does things, gossipy and backbite-y thoughts, then we have less and less room for wonder, for pleasure, for long-kindness. Our minds and hearts, ideally, should be a storehouse of good treasure, not Scrooge McDuck's vaults of gold (I loved that movie as a kid!).

Su said...

@mybabyjohn: An excellent point, as ever! There is a lot of pressure in today's world to promote one's self, and it stands in such contrast to God's telling us not to think more highly of ourselves than we ought to do.

@Deniz: Very well said! A heart full of kindness is likely to lead to a life of kindness.

Charlie's Church of Christ said...

Su - you may have hit maturity just by pondering if you should give up your stuff preemptively.

to me there's nothing wrong with stuff, nothing inherently bad, it's just the meaning we attach to it. We can even have a slight attachement - that's healthy- it just has to equally be loose.

Su said...

Wow, hitting maturity! And here my parents said I'd never make it! ;)
Joking aside, I totally agree. I do try to keep my attitude towards stuff in check. Even more so since we recently had a fire in our apartment complex-- some of our neighbours lost everything, and that could have been me. Their grave misfortune gave me a good opportunity to evaluate my attitude.