“For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” Matthew 6:21
The statement above from Jesus is often misquoted. People prefer to say, “Where your heart is, your treasure will be also.” But that isn’t what Jesus said. Our heart follows our treasure – we don’t necessarily treasure what is in our hearts.
This is important in a world like ours. In our country, we are overwhelmed with things. Most families have more than one of a lot of things that people in other parts of the world have none of (cars, TV’s computers, etc.). The more we have, the more defensive we become. It is rich people who live in houses with security systems locked inside of gated communities. Something about our stuff shapes us and if we aren’t careful, to much can actually make us afraid!
Often, people live in fear and can’t let go of things. Closets overflow. Extra rooms become closets. Basements become inaccessible. Garages are turned into personal warehouses. If this is you, then this lesson is a great chance to learn another way to live from Jesus – the master of simplicity and faithfulness.
There has been a movement in our society to encourage people to simplify. Less stuff can make a better life. There is less to clean, less to maintain and less to lose. Clutter is reduced and both time and space are often both freed up. But something often forces us to cling to things, desire more things, and in the process our heart is changed. A glad and generous heart can become clingy and defensive.
This week, take a little time to look at your life. What things so you have? Of them, which ones could you live without? Which ones, if you got rid of them, would it actually improve your life to be freed from?
Jesus knew that the lure of the material could throw our hearts out of balance. As we learn from him, letting go of things that don’t matter may not just free us from clutter, it may set our hearts free as well.