Don’t collect for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal. But collect for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves don’t break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
Being in Simple Charity, I’m very familiar with this passage. It’s a logical assertion that Jesus makes to admonish us to care about things of the Kingdom. Using this same logic (of the temporal nature of things on the earth), Simple Charity encourages all believers to consider how they spend their money (on temporary things, or on eternal things). It makes sense to give money to charities that can save lives, because human souls are eternal and a new fancy pair of shoes is not.
I would like to highlight something that’s alluded to in Matthew 6:19-21 that I’ve been learning recently. Let’s look at the last verse closely: “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” I find it interesting that Jesus mentions treasure first, then heart; it’s almost as if where we put our treasure determines where our heart will be prone to go. The statement “we can see where our heart is by looking at where our treasure is” is valid, but I also think it’s a bit hopeless.
The past couple of weeks I’ve been seeing that I’m not very invested (financially, emotionally, spiritually, etc.) in many things. Therefore, it would be easy to say that my heart isn’t in many things. A valid statement. But also hopeless. There’s no solution. It’s just an assessment of the current state of my heart. Jesus doesn’t just assess where we are, He says “collect for yourselves treasures in heaven.” He calls for repentance. He says that if we want our heart to be in something, we have to put our treasure there. There is a change of heart that occurs when we start investing in things. If you think “I get the whole Simple Charity thing, but my heart just doesn’t care for the poor like theirs does,” the solution isn’t to try to muster up compassion for the poor, but rather to put your treasure into alleviating global poverty and see that your heart will begin to care for those less fortunate.
Ultimately, we shouldn’t let our heart rule where we spend our time and money, but we should rule over our heart because “the heart is deceitful above all things.” When I succumb to letting my heart rule and determine what I’m doing, I fail to make meaningful forward progress in life. I encourage you (especially you college kids; I know how lazy we can be over winter break) to assess where your heart is and where you want it to be. A lot of places where we put our treasure “moth and rust destroy and thieves break in and steal.” We don’t want our hearts to be there. We want to put our treasure in things that will endure.