Better a little with the fear of the Lord
than great wealth with turmoil.
Better a small serving of vegetables with love
than a fattened calf with hatred. – Proverbs 15:16-17
Whenever I start to wish for more material possessions and resources than I have, God is faithful to remind me how truly blessed and rich I am in the things that matter.
I may not have great wealth or dine like a king, but I have a relationship with the God of the universe and people who love me. There is no amount of money that can buy either of those things. All the money in the world would not make the slightest real difference if I didn’t have God.
Money or possessions can momentarily mask problems or give fleeting happiness, but in the end they “sprout wings and fly away.”
Cast but a glance at riches, and they are gone,
for they will surely sprout wings
and fly off to the sky like an eagle. – Proverbs 23:5
Jesus in the sermon on the mount addresses the limited value of earthly treasure no matter how great it may be and then redirects us to focus on what truly matters.
“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. – Matthew 6:19-21
When I find myself focusing on earthly treasure and wanting more, getting frustrated by the lack of it and trying to plan ways to get more of it, I realize that my perspective has become skewed and that I need to refocus. I find that when my heart gets out of place in regards to money, I become discouraged and my overall outlook on life gets cloudy.
That is when I need to take a step back and realize that I am far more blessed in the things that truly matter than I can even comprehend. The love and meaning that we have in Christ so far outweighs anything else that there is no comparison. On top of that I have wonderful people who love me.
I should try to make smart decisions in regards to wealth and be a good steward, but if through the power of the Spirit I am placing my heart where it ought to be and recognizing that what I do have is far better, then the effect of the size of my wealth–or total lack of it–on my bearing and outlook should continually diminish over time.
Our emotions are a good bellwether of where our thinking and focus are placed. When we find our emotions out of whack because of finances or things of that nature, we should recognize that we have probably allowed our gaze and our heart to wander. When we recognize this the best thing to do is to go to God in prayer and ask for Him to realign our heart and our thinking and to spend time in the Word receiving the truth.
The way to store up treasures in heaven is to love God and love people. That gives joy and satisfaction on earth and brings honor to God in heaven.