“For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”
“Some people are so poor, all they have is money.”
“You’re gonna have to serve somebody. Well, it may be the devil or it may be the Lord, but you’re gonna have to serve somebody.”
I’ve always been blessed with good eyesight, never having a need for prescription glasses. But in my mid-forties, I began to need reading glasses. While my long-distance vision is good, I find it impossible to read normal newsprint without the aid of an inexpensive pair of reading spectacles. The reading glasses bring clarity to what is close, but if I attempt to view anything at a distance through these lenses, everything is blurry. The very thing that meets my critical short-range need is a detriment to my long-range need. While I need my reading glasses to view my car’s GPS, I have to look over their rims to see where I’m headed.
The Gospel writers record Jesus addressing the subject of money, either directly or indirectly, more than heaven or hell. He never said money was evil, though he did spend much of his time addressing the problems that money can cause. He recognized the need for money, but warned against overvaluing it.
In the sixth chapter of Matthew Jesus said, “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 (Mt 6:19-21).” He followed up with this statement: “No one can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and Money (Mt 6:24).” Money makes a great servant, but a terrible master.
For the things that are immediately in front of me, I need my reading glasses. For viewing the things that are far off, my lenses are of no value. For meeting my immediate needs, money can be very useful. For meeting my eternal needs, money is useless.
Our ability to effectively deal with our poverty and riches depends greatly on our view. Let us not confuse our short-term vision with our long-term vision. One matters only for today, the other matters for an eternity.