“Where your treasure is there your heart will be also.” – Matthew 6:21
One of the hardest things in life is knowing if the decisions we make are good or not. Part of understanding this is: how do we measure what is good. Many people make decisions because of greed, and the basis of their decisions are grounded in what they can get, no matter if it hurts others or not. Others are more altruistic and feel like their decisions are to help others make a better life, or at least experience better circumstances in life. Some are goal oriented, while others care about leaving a legacy. Some are influenced by how others perceive them and some like to, quite literally, go against what everyone else is doing. There are some fun aspects to discovering how people see, what it is that catches people’s attention, what they want to do in life, what they settle for, and what they can’t live without. People are so different that to understand the uniqueness of each person brings a new and creative expression to decision-making.
On the other hand, the Bible does say something that is true about everyone about how we make decisions – “where your treasure is there your heart will be also” – Matthew 6:21.
So what does this mean?
- We make decisions based on what we value or treasure. Our values are built upon what we believe. The sequence goes like this – beliefs, values, priorities, behaviors, habits, and character. Values shape four key elements of our life –
- Values shape our priorities – we don’t usually think of it this way but our priorities are shaped by what we value or treasure. How we determine what is the most important things to do are always based on our values (except possibly for very extenuating circumstances).
- Values and Priorities shape our behaviors – the best way to look at the relationship here is to think backwards. Once we see a person’s behaviors we better understand their priorities; at least behaviors give us a much clearer picture of one’s priorities in life. Behaviors might also be described as “choices” because all behaviors are driven by choice.
- Values, Priorities, and Behaviors shape habits – once we make enough choices and repeat them enough they become habits. The influence of our values may not feel like they are part of this but they are the hidden pillars under the water line. They may not always seem visible, in one sense, but they are present even when we are not consciously thinking about them. But again if we work backwards we can figure out some idea of a person’s values because they are the reason people have certain priorities, make particular choices (behaviors) and end up behaving the way they do.
- The verse does NOT say that where your heart is there your treasure will be also. Some will disagree with this because they will say that only when we are convinced or feel passionately about something will we make anything a priority and then start acting upon it. I won’t disagree that is how many people function. If they are not feeling it they are not interested in it. However, for the Christian, we are called to trust the viability of God’s Word and obey it by faith. We are not to simply wait until God gives me the right feeling and then obey His Word. Feelings are not equal to faith but are certainly an integral part of faith. Sometimes we may not “feel” like doing something that God asks us to do but the correct response, for a Christian, is to obey truth into a new way of feeling.
- Value really comes down to trust when it comes to relationship. When we truly value something and convinced that it is worth having as part of our lives we will embrace it. The only way to truly value someone is that we see they are trustworthy. Trust maybe granted but often is something that is demonstrated and exhibited in different life circumstances.
When it comes to storing up treasures in heaven it ultimately comes back to how we see God. If you see Him as a loving Father who provides, protects and desires the very best for us then we can trust Him and value eternal things. The less we trust Him the harder it will be to value storing up treasure in heaven.