Wednesday, March 4, 2015

100 Days on Jesus’ Sermon Mount (Day 53)

Jesus said, “... wherever your valuables are, that’s where your heart will be as well.”
— Matthew 6:21 (USC)
Possessions come in myriad variety, in splendour and serendipity, material and spiritual, significant and immaterial, as assets and liabilities, and both visible and invisible.
Wisdom may be defined as the acquisition and care of the right kinds of possessions.
If we are able to discern the virtuous possessions from those that lead to or engage us in vice, then we are well on the road to a life of deeper understanding.
The possessions that lead most to the virtuous life are not much from a visual viewpoint. They may even need much time investment of thoughtful nurture. There may seem to be no immediate reward, just cost. We may well wonder — and often — if we are wasting our time. It will appear that others are getting ahead, and a what’s-wrong-with-me attitude might find a place to land to stifle our hope.
Whatever we find most valuable in life will get our strongest attention. If we value pleasure we’ll spend our time and money on things and activities that sate the senses. If we value money we’ll be frugal and sacrifice contentment for a higher paying job. If we value keeping up with the Joneses we’ll forever be engaged in ‘retail therapy’. If we value education we’ll push ourselves and our family academically.
Now, many of these things are noble pursuits, particularly education. But if we don’t value our relationship with God most of all, our focus and passion — our worship — will possibly be skewed into imbalance. We can make too much of a good thing. Likewise, a bad thing may grip us. Many dependencies and addictions become things of immense value when they should never have taken hold in the first place.
Hoarding treasures in heaven is about getting our relationships right, which can often be about equipping our family and empowering those who look to us as examples.
Encouraging people from where they’re at — that has immense value. If we will engage in building others up there is a positive impact on our hearts.
The more we see others blessed the more we ourselves are blessed. It is more blessed to give than receive.
1.     What do you place most stock in as far as value is concerned? Think about your family, your job, your possessions, your time, your energy. What gets the most of your attention? Is it healthy and sustainable?
2.     How will you redirect your efforts if what you consider to be valuable now really has no eternal value?
© 2015 S. J. Wickham.
Note: USC version is Under the Southern Cross, The New Testament in Australian English (2014). This translation was painstakingly developed by Dr. Richard Moore, a NT Greek scholar, over nearly thirty years.

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