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Bob Tamasy: Do You Know Where Your Treasure Is?

  • Thursday, May 23, 2024
  • Bob Tamasy
Bob Tamasy
Bob Tamasy

Treasure. When comes to mind when you hear that word? I think of buried treasure, the whereabouts of which can only be discovered via a crude treasure map. Or maybe swashbuckling pirates sailing the ‘seven seas,’ searching for gold and jewels they can stash in their treasure chest. “Yo, ho, ho! Avast, me hearties!” (I’m not sure what that means.)

I remember as a boy reading novels about epic treasure hunts. Adventure, mystery, and intrigue. Not only the search for treasure but also discovering exactly what’s been hidden. The wonders of a young person’s imagination!

Engaging in a great quest for treasure sounds like fun, but in one sense it’s unnecessary. Because deep down, we all know where our treasure can be found. As Jesus wisely and divinely observed, “For where your treasure is there your heart will be also” (Matthew 6:21).

Reversing what He said, all we need to do is ask ourselves, what are our passions? What are those things we value above all else? When we awaken each morning, what comes immediately to mind – the primary objects of our focus and desires over the course of the day? When we answer questions like those, we can quickly discern where our hearts (and our treasure) are.

“Treasure” can mean many things to just as many people. For some it’s their marriage or family. Nothing is more important. For others, it’s career – pursuing promotions, authority and prestige, along with the requisite financial rewards. Or it might be an ever-growing investment portfolio, necessitating frequent daily checks on how the stock market’s doing. Picture King Midas counting and recounting his extensive stash of cash.

That long-coveted car is the treasure some embrace. You can tell by how they react when even a small scratch mars the impeccable finish. Similarly, some find their treasure in houses, designed and decorated with much care and expense. Others might treasure education and the never-ending quest for knowledge, producing a parade of collegiate degrees and commendations.

We could add many other potential treasures to this list, but whichever ones we choose they tend to consume copious amounts of energy and time. During His ‘sermon on the mount,’ just before declaring that what we treasure follows what’s in our heart, Jesus admonished:

“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” (Matthew 6:19-20).

Pondering that gives a different perspective of those things that command our attention. Most of the things we value most – our stuff, bank accounts, hobbies and pastimes – eventually will lose their luster. As someone once said and has often been repeated, we never see a hearse pulling a U-Haul trailer. Everything we’ve devoted our lives to acquiring we’ll have to leave behind.

Recognizing that within the context of eternity our earthly lives are little more than the blink of an eye, doesn’t it make sense to “store up treasures in heaven,” as Jesus said?

What are those treasures? Again, these can take many forms, but first and foremost is ensuring that our eternal relationship with God is secure. That we’ve repented of our sins, received His forgiveness, and trusting in Christ’s atoning death on the cross, gained the new spiritual life He promises. “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 6:23).

But beyond that, do our lives represent investments in eternity? Are the things we treasure most ones that are having eternal impact? As a friend of mine often used to say, “The only things that will last for eternity are the Word of God and people.” Therefore, relationships centered around the truth of God’s Word are the treasures we can store up.

Even this can look different from one person to another. For extroverts, this means a long line of friendships and acquaintances through which the light of Christ can shine. For introverts, however, interactions with people aren’t as easy. We tend to have a much smaller group of folks regarded as friends. But we can invest time, energy and even resources in those more deeply.

We live in a tangible, temporal world, but we live best when we never lose sight of the eternal home that awaits us. If that’s where our heart is, our treasure – the time, talents and resources God has graciously entrusted to us – is certain to follow.

In another setting, Jesus gave a simple description of what this might look like: “The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field. When a man found it, he hid it again, and then in his joy went and sold all that he had and bought that field” (Matthew 13:44). If what we treasure aligns with what God treasures, chances are we’ll be willing to give up all else if necessary to obtain it.

* * *

Robert J. Tamasy is a veteran journalist, former newspaper editor and magazine editor. Bob has written, co-authored and edited more than 15 books. These include the newly published, ”Marketplace Ambassadors”; “Business At Its Best: Timeless Wisdom from Proverbs for Today’s Workplace”; “Tufting Legacies,” “The Heart of Mentoring,” and “Pursuing Life With a Shepherd’s Heart.” A weekly business meditation he edits, “Monday Manna,” is translated into more than 20 languages and sent via email around the world by CBMC International. The address for his blog is www.bobtamasy.blogspot.com. His email address is btamasy@comcast.net.

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