“Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal; but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”
Moths, rust, and thieves are not new concerns for me. Inflation, the silent thief, was rampant during President Carter’s term as President, and I’ve been concerned ever since about how to be a wise financial steward.
Since then, I’ve been what some call a gold bug. I’m a person who is concerned about currency that is not backed by anything.
So, Sharon and I have purchased actual, physical one-ounce gold coins over the years.
But where do you put these coins? In current valuation, one coin the size of a silver dollar is worth over $1,700.
When I was a kid, my dad helped me collect thousands of dimes, quarters, half dollars, and silver dollars. I had them in jars in the closet of my bedroom. These were all coins dated 1964 or before, meaning that they were 90% silver. One day we were robbed, and all my coins were gone.
That is the thief problem that the Lord warned about with earthly treasure. So what do you do? Whatever you do is a hassle. Some store their gold in vaults overseas. That costs a lot of money, and it’s a hassle to sell them. Some hide the gold in jars buried in the ground. Then you have to hope you don’t forget it’s there or that some workman digs up the jar!
What about taxes? Don’t those eat into your finances? Then, too, there are heavy inheritance taxes for your heirs!
What about actual decay? Every year Sharon and I spend thousands of dollars on home repairs–AC, heating, plumbing, windows, foundation problems, termites, appliances, etc. Right now our deck needs thousands of dollars in repairs. Our heating unit just needed some work. Tomorrow a plumber is coming to fix a pressure problem in our water lines. And what about car repairs–tires, brakes, alternators, transmissions, suspension, etc.?
I can’t imagine how frustrating it must be to manage millions of dollars. I know. People think, “Oh, that would be a good problem to have.” Maybe. But studies show that when people come into such large sums suddenly it actually causes them a lot of suffering, and they most often lose it all quickly. Most of us would not really like figuring out how to invest a fortune. It’s just not that hard to lose it all.
I’m older now. I can honestly say that I really don’t like keeping up with retirement funds. I do it because I know that God wants us to be good stewards of what He has entrusted to us. And I know that Sharon and I will likely need money for lots of things, including medical needs and assisted living, if we live long enough and if the Lord tarries.
We know that what Jesus says is true. So we know that laying up treasure on Earth is not wise. But it is one thing to know that intellectually and another to know it in your experience. I know from my experience that in this life, possessions and finances are troublesome. Do you know from your experience that laying up treasure on Earth is a bad idea?
Because what Jesus says is true, we know that the wise plan is to lay up treasure in heaven. Are you living your life to bolster the eternal IRAs of you and your spouse?
We can fully enjoy life now without becoming rich. (Of course, by comparison with the standard of living in developing countries, we’re all rich.) The fact is, it’s easier to enjoy life when you have less stuff. The crucial question is where our heart is.
Is your heart set on treasure on Earth or treasure in heaven?