“For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” Matthew 6:21
What does that mean? Jesus says where your treasure is, that’s what you are devoted to. Saying I’m a Christian (or “honking if you love Jesus” or “copying and pasting” on Facebook) doesn’t prove I love Jesus.
What I spend my time, talent and treasure on? That’s my treasure. And my treasure captures my heart.
My favorite character in Lord of the Rings is Gollum. Not because of his mad makeup skills or excellent clothing, but because of what he represents.
Gollum calls “the ring” his precious. He loves it and cradles it and pets it and talks to it and becomes hysterical and murderous when he loses it and he calls it “my precious.” He’s become so consumed with it that he’s willing to kill for it.
And the more consumed he becomes with his precious the more disgusting and horrible he becomes (when he initially finds the ring he’s a normal young hobbit). He’s drawn away from everything and everyone but the ring. His heart is captured by the ring. It is his treasure.
When you and I become consumed with anything other than Christ, when it becomes our “precious” and we become consumed with it – it draws our heart away from Christ and toward that thing.
Gollum’s obsession with the wrong treasure is what transforms him into something increasingly hideous. And our obsession with the wrong treasure will transform us.
That’s why God says in Prov. 4:23 “Guard your heart above all else.” If my money is my precious – that’s what has captured my heart. If my house is my precious – that’s what has captured my heart. If my car or career or hobby or anything else is my treasure, my precious – that’s what has captured my heart.
Every time I give to God, in a very real, tangible, brick-and-mortar, cash money kind of way – I’m demonstrating, confirming and reaffirming that He is my precious and my treasure and the one that I really trust. I’m saying “God, You have captured my heart.”
And a heart captured by God, is a glorious beautiful thing.
You’ve probably heard the saying: Talk is cheap. There’s another I can’t complete: Money talks, “something else” walks. Money is how we value things. Not talk.
When I asked my wife to marry me, I was a broke college graduate. I borrowed all the money I could and bought her the most diamond ring I could. Why? I could’ve given her a rubber band to put on her finger, or a ring from a box of Cracker Jacks. And I’d still be single. Because I’d be a cheap sorry wretch. I gave her as much ring as I could buy because it represented my love for her. She was and is my “precious” and my treasure. That ring was my way of demonstrating that she captured my heart.
God calls us to give to Him (all through the Bible but most famously in Malachi 3:10) not because He’s hurting for money, but because He knows that every time we give, it’s a spiritual victory – the kind Gollum desperately needed. Because giving to God breaks the chains of materialism, draws us to Him, and increases our trust in Him. It ties my heart to His and He can change me into something beautiful.
And all of this, is only because God is great, and God is good. And Christ is King.