We’ve all heard the expression ‘He wears his heart on his sleeve’. We use it when someone’s emotions are so obvious that they can’t hide them. For example, take the other day when I clicked on a video someone shared on facebook of a flash mob singing Christmas carols at the mall. Well, if someone had walked into my office at that moment my sleeve would have screamed ‘I’m a big baby!’ at them while I would have tried to quickly wipe the tears and speak in a manly, over-compensatingly low voice.
Anyway, we know that only God can truly know someone else’s heart (1 Samuel 16:7), but Jesus also taught us that there are some pretty big clues that you can look at in order to take an inventory of your own heart. He says in Matthew 6 that ‘where you put your treasure, that’s where your heart is’. Jesus said that it’s not your sleeve that betrays the state of your heart, it’s actually your wallet.
I’ve pretty much always brushed over that verse with a “yeah, yeah, yeah, what else ya got?” attitude. Not to say I disagreed with it or something, just that I didn’t even give it enough thought to even disagree with it in the first place. It kinda has that feel of a fluffy, heavenly thing that Jesus said. But if you think about it, it’s actually pretty wise.
Like a lot of people my age, I’ve grown up with a pretty shallow ideology in terms of money. I think the simplest way to outline my financial philosophy would be something like this: ‘Don’t have? Complain. Have? Spend. Have too much? Spend more and maybe give some away.’ I figured that if I gave too much thought to money I would make it an idol in my life, so I tried to be as content as possible living paycheck to paycheck. (Ironically, looking back, that was only possible because I was bailed out by my parents all through high school and even in college.)
If we take the time to listen to what Jesus said, we’ll see that He was right. You know how forensic scientists can basically figure out if you’ve ever been in a place because everywhere you go, you leave a little bit of yourself behind in the form of a hair or a piece of skin or something? Well think about that in terms of money. Almost every move you make in the world requires some kind of cost. You pay for transportation, food, housing and having fun. If you’re not directly paying for things, every minute you spend not making money will eventually have to be compensated by a job if you want to maintain any kind of lifestyle.
If you look at things that way, start to think about the money trail you leave behind. A few years ago my money trail would show that my heart was in video games, Taco Bell and going to the movies. The funny thing is that I also would have said that it was a good thing to tithe 10% of my income, but I was always making the case to God that I didn’t have enough to do that. When I tried to ignore the importance of money, my natural outflow of money revealed what was really important to me. You could see that my heart was in the wrong place. If you say that you want God to be in control of your money, but then all of your money is spent on yourself, where is your heart truly? Money is a discipline, just like losing weight or exercising. You can say you want to lose weight or get stronger but if you never go on a diet or lift any weights, will people really believe that you care about those things?
Where your money is, that’s where your heart is.
CROWNS THAT DON’T LAST
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