By Allison Paala
“Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in Heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” - Matthew 6:19-21
This verse from Mattthew is very well known and for good reason. It is such a great reminder in this consumerist, materialistic world we live in that THERE IS MORE! It is too easy to get caught up in the things that we have, or don’t have.
Last week I took my kids to the park and when we were leaving, my 8 year old noticed that his friend, who is younger than him and a GIRL, had her own rollerblades. Upon seeing this, he came up to me and complained, “Mom! Did you see my friend? Why does SHE have rollerblades? I don’t even have rollerblades yet. I only have roller skates and I AM OLDER!! And she isn’t even falling! It’s NOT FAIR!”
Hearing this broke my heart a little bit. Not because I had not bought him rollerblades, but because it hurt me to see that instead of being happy for his friend, my son was only envious. And, admittedly, I realized that I have not always been the best example of not caring about material things. I recently burst into tears because I did not have a raised bed for a vegetable garden, and while I would like to blame pregnancy hormones, I confess I have been distracted by having the things I want more than I like to admit. We had a long talk that day about how everything we have on this earth is a gift from God and not anything to be taken for granted. I also read that passage from Matthew with him and we discussed how when we start to feel envious, we can ask God to help us to instead be grateful for our blessings.
This idea also ties in with the book of Ecclesiastes, which we just finished reading in our live group. The whole book is about how all of our work and belongings and struggles on this earth essentially are “hevel”, which translates from Hebrew to smoke, or vapor. It is a hard pill to swallow when we focus so much of our lives on our careers, our money, our stuff.
God wants us to enjoy our lives, but in a way that is giving Him the glory, not ourselves and certainly not our stuff. Wrapping up these blogs is always the hardest part, but I just want to leave you with the reminder that God gave me that day at the park. Every good thing comes from our Father, and we do not need anything else. So enjoy what the Lord has blessed you with, and pass on the love of Christ as often as possible.
“Behold, what I have seen to be good and fitting is to eat and drink and find enjoyment in all the toil with which one toils under the sun the few days of his life that God has given him, for this is his lot. Everyone also to whom God has given wealth and possessions and power to enjoy them, and to accept his lot and rejoice in his toil—this is the gift of God. For he will not much remember the days of his life because God keeps him occupied with joy in his heart” -Ecclesiastes 5:18-20