Last week I posted my heart regarding contentment and thankfulness. It's been on my heart since and I have been determined to not let it go. Ironically, I've had continual reminders and lessons regarding the same exact subject. It may not make sense to you, but when I want so deeply to learn something I dig deep and I'm in my thoughts continually. I obsess over it and the lesson turns into something much more... it becomes eye-opening.
So this is where I'm at. Today, my devotional (yes I do devotions, for those of you who think devos are so old-school) was a sermon regarding Matthew 6:19... which is a part of Jesus' Sermon on the Mount. Jesus is explaining to his students that their passion is is evident by which they devote themselves...and so many of us devote ourselves to money. I mean... anything material leads back to money... so it all boils down to the dollar. So, how can we love God and love money!? We cannot. In a matter of words, Christ was telling his followers that money will only lead to despair.
I'll be blundt. We've had our share of money issues. Big ones. Like possible bankruptcy (avoided, thankyouverymuch). We've had credit card debt. We currently have extreme student debt (thanks to our greedy undergraduate and graduate programs). In our six years of marriage, we've yet to buy a home. We've financed one vehicle, and sold it... to buy another for cash. That being said, we have learned our lessons regarding finances and now we lead a wiser life for it.
But have I... as an individual? In spite of all the hardship, the grief and sorrow surrounding our finances I still have to learn one thing. I need to learn that our money will not bring freedom or security. Sure, I've said it out loud and probably agreed with a few of you who've said the same thing a time or two. But... I still want nice things. I still dream about having excess cash to roll around in. I still want that nice hatchback wagon or the sectional couch... or that divine flat screen... or the jogging stroller that costs 350 buckaroos. Why do I want those things? Especially if they cost so much money and eventually lead to grief and sorry?
(By the way, I'm embarassed to be admitting all of this. It's incredibly humbling... but it's healthy for me. And good for my heart.)
So this is where I'm honest. It's true. I honestly believe in my heart that money will bring me security and comfort. It will bring happiness. I mean, who doesn't like going to the movies? And who wouldn't love to go on a lavish vacation every year? That would make me totally happy. Duh. You know what makes me happy? Brand new comforters. New carpet. A car that has been detailed. Yep... those things make me happy. For the moment.
I mentally know that my eternal satisfaction cannot be sated by these things... these objects. By my heart leads me astray. Every day. I want to know...honestly know... that if I could, would I would fund an orphanage in a third world? Or pay for a woman to be rescued out of sex slavery? When I'm at the grocery, would I buy extra, just for the homeless shelter? No. I don't currently live like that. I don't think about it... hardly ever.
This breaks my heart. Knowing how selfish I am. Knowing God sees my selfishness too.
I want to invest in God's treasure. The Lord knows that we want treasure... it's who we are. We all want to hunt and find and keep. It's not something to be ashamed of... it's how we're wired. But, Christ says to hunt for things of the Kingdom, find them... and keep them in our hearts. I want to learn to live like that. I want to truly have a heart that reflects the heart of Christ. I want to hunt for Christ and find him and keep him in my heart (I want to share him too)!
So realistically, I can change my mind. Right now. I vow to start thinking in this radical direction and to constantly remind myself to remember those who need the Kingdom love... our love...God's love. To use our money for a Kingdom purpose. Now wouldn't that be heavenly?
But, I can't change my heart. Not tonight. It has to happen over time. It has to be molded and shaped. This heart of mine is stubborn and habit-forming. It's set in it's ways. It's ugly. But I want it to be beautiful at some point. I hope it's beautifully giving and selfless. Beautifully Christ-like. My heart will follow my mind and eventually where my treasure is will reflect where my heart is. This is my hope.
"Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also."
"The eye is the lamp of the body. If your eyes are good, your whole body will be full of light. But if your eyes are bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light within you is darkness, how great is that darkness!"
"No one can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted o the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and Money."