“Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon the earth, where moth and rust consume, and where thieves break through and steal: but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth consume, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: for where thy treasure is, there will thy heart be also” (Matthew 6:19-21).
Recent events have gone a long way to show to all of us how “uncertain” worldly riches are (1 Timothy 6:17-19). Many people who felt rather secure about their financial position have lost significant portions of their wealth. Companies that no one thought could fail have failed. Investments that were “risk-free” ended up having risks. People are afraid, concerned, and distressed.
Yet our response ought not to be to just trust in cold hard cash, either, because even that is only as valuable as people determine it to be. There is no certainty in any form of riches.
Jesus knows this, and Jesus also knows that too many people, in reality, trust Mammon over God (cf. Matthew 6:24). Of course, very few people actually confess that this is the case, but their actions speak volumes. Things are well when the bank account is well. Things are terrible when the bank account is empty. The future is rosy or cloudy based on the financial forecast.
It is an easy enough trap to fall into, and that is why Jesus calls us with a higher calling (Philippians 3:14). He knows that a day is coming when everything around us will be consumed (2 Peter 3:9-12). How tragic it is to know that so much human endeavor is directed toward goals that are so fleeting and, ultimately, so worthless!
That is why we must place our confidence in God, and make “deposits” to our “Heavenly bank account,” where thieves do not break through and steal, where “credit bubbles” and “housing bubbles” do not destabilize, and where the “bank” never fails. As Paul says, we do this by being full of good works– love, mercy, compassion, generosity (1 Timothy 6:17-19).
In the end, that is what remains– not what we have materially, but the relationships we develop and the souls we are able to touch with the love of Christ. Those are all that will endure from this world, and that is why we must invest in them strongly.
But to do so, we must first decide where we are going to “invest” our hearts (Matthew 6:21). Shall it be with worldly and uncertain riches and possessions, or shall it be in Heaven and in the Heavenly Kingdom?
Ethan R. Longhenry