Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Stored Up Treasure

For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” – Matthew 6:21

I guess I should start with a confession.  I used to have a pair of shoes in every color imaginable.  I had orange, bright blue, pink, turquoise, and even purple – and I hate purple.  I still have a lot.  I also used to buy new clothes so often you would think I was opening my own boutique!  I shopped every weekend in fact!  My walk-in closet was so cramped for space I started storing off-season stuff in tubs instead of on hangers.  But I “needed” these things, because they were a way to please people.  People respond to you differently if you wear the latest fashion, look good, smell good (yes, there was a perfume rack), and wear your hair in an up-to-date style.  But…God did not put me on this earth to please people.

What our heart clings to can make us or break us.  That closet of clothing was as much a burden as it was a desire to own.  The continual cleaning out and rebuilding of the wardrobe was expensive, and time consuming.  It occupied way too much of my time.  Time that was wasted in God’s eyes.

In retrospect, the obsession was not with clothing, but with people.  The clothes and shoes were not the problem.  My heart was the problem.  I wanted to accepted, loved, and favored by people.  Maybe you’re reading this and you understand that?  Maybe you don’t.  But what I was missing out on was knowing that with God I was already accepted as I was, loved, and significantly favored!  While I spent excessive amounts of time shopping, organizing and planning my daily wardrobe, I wasn’t spending time in God’s word learning of His love for me.  My heart was created to be a throne room for my God, but I’d made it into a throne room for the next person I wanted to impress.  I had made people my idol.

I still love fashion, and yes, I still have more shoes than I need. I mean, I really only need one pair – one for each foot, right?  But the reason I have them has changed.  It’s because I like them now.  I don’t go shopping looking for something that the person in my head that I’m trying to impress will like.  So…I have a lot of yoga pants, t-shirts and sneakers. J  Ah, it’s a good life!  I’ve found the freedom God gives in just what might be the most comfortable way!

Dietrich Bonhoeffer wrote “Goods are given to be used, but not stored away. Just as Israel in the desert received manna daily from God and did not have to worry about food and drink, and just as the manna which was stored from one day for another rotted, so should Jesus’ disciples receive their share daily from God. But if they store it up as lasting treasure, they will spoil both the gift and themselves. The heart clings to collected treasure. Stored–up possessions get between me and God. Where my treasure is, there is my trust, my security, my comfort, my God. Treasure means idolatry.” 

I’m glad that I do not know the thousands of dollars that I wasted buying and storing clothing that the next season would be out of style.  That’s one of God’s tender mercies in that He hides that number from me.  But what He has revealed is that none of the people I tried to please had the lasting impact on my life that He has had. 

Father, thank you that you have transformed that part of me that sought the acceptance of people.  Thank you that you are my security, my comfort, and that I am learning more and more each day to trust the opinions of others to you.  You are my King.  You are welcome in my throne room.




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