Where Your Treasure Is: How Money Directs Your Heart
The decisions you make with money will shape the person you’re going to become.
It pays to be careful what you do with your money. After all, the way you spend your money will set the direction of your heart. Where your treasure is today, your heart will follow tomorrow.
We often think the things we do with our money demonstrate what’s going on in our hearts, and this can often be true. But the relationship between your heart and your wallet isn’t a one-way street. Just as your heart can influence the way you spend money, your financial choices can change the state of your heart. And that’s a power worth taking note of.
Where Your Treasure Is: Heaven vs. Earth
Our basis for this study comes from the Bible, in a famous teaching that Jesus gave on money. Let’s read Matthew 6:19-21 and then examine what it says about the relationship between our money and our hearts:
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.
At the most basic level, what Jesus is saying is pretty simple: As we go through this life, we can spend our time working to accumulate things that are valuable here on earth, or we can spend our time working to achieve things that are valuable in heaven. Earthly treasures can quickly fade, and they have no value in the afterlife. We can’t take our possessions with us when we die. So Jesus encourage us to seek things that have eternal value.
With that concept in mind, let’s take a closer look at the final sentence of this passage. “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” We very often interpret that sentence to mean that the way we spend our money is evidence of the condition of our heart. And while this is often the case, I don’t think that’s precisely what Jesus is saying here.
Where your treasure is now, your heart will follow in the future.
Looking carefully at the sentence construction, we see verbs in two difference tenses: “Where your treasure is” (present tense), “there your heart will be” (future tense). Where your treasure is now, your heart will follow in the future. In other words, the things that we do with our money shape the direction of our hearts.
Where Your Treasure is Affects the State of Your Heart
Jesus isn’t really concerned with treasure here; He’s concerned with the state of our hearts. He understands that our treasures lead our hearts. He wants our hearts pointed toward heaven and not toward earth. So He instructs us to store up heavenly treasures so our hearts will follow in the right direction.
What does this mean for you? It means the choices you make about money matter. Each time you chose to pursue one kind of treasure or another, you gently nudge your heart in the direction of the priority you’ve chosen. Every time you spend a dollar, you focus your heart a bit on the thing that you’re purchasing with that money.
If you use your resources to the advancement of God’s kingdom, you’ll find your heart becomes more attached to His work. But the more treasure you direct toward your own desires, the more those desires will grow to consume your heart.
If you use your resources to the advancement of God’s kingdom, you’ll find your heart becomes more attached to His work.
This teaching has powerful implications for those of us who want to live connected to God’s heart. If you want to see your passion stirred up toward His kingdom, invest financially in His work. If you want to grow a heart for missions, give to support missionaries. If you want to become more compassionate toward the poor, you give more to the poor.
We don’t become great givers because we are generous; we become generous because we chose to be great givers. And if we want to grow grow spiritually, we must invest in God’s kingdom first.