"Imagine what life will be like when I make a million dollars."
Who hasn't had those words run in their thoughts? We all know people who have a lot of money and are miserable people along with those on the other end who have almost nothing -- and are the happiest of all people. Somewhere in between we find ourselves.
The misquoted version ("money is the root of all evil") makes money and wealth the source (or root) of all evil in the world. This is clearly false. The Bible makes it quite clear that sin is the root of all evil in the world (Matthew 15:19, Romans 5:12, James 1:15). Wealth is morally neutral; there is nothing wrong with money, in and of itself, or the possession of money. However, when money begins to control us, that's when trouble starts.
Please understand that Jesus has nothing against money. Neither, when he commands us to sell our possessions and give to the poor, is he against wealth. It is not his intention that we, or anyone else, be poor. He is not telling us to renounce earthly treasures and join a convent or monastery. He is looking for disciples who use their money wisely.
Jesus warns us not to store up treasures on earth. Either it leaves us while we live, or we leave it when we die. Treasures on earth are fragile. The only way to preserve them is to turn them into treasures in heaven.
A.W. Tozer said: "Any temporal possession can be turned into everlasting wealth. Whatever is given to Christ is immediately touched with immortality."
Whatever treasures we store up in heaven will be waiting for us when we arrive. Not only God, not only others, but we ourselves are the eternal beneficiaries of all our giving.
Editor's note: The Rev. Dr. Scott Stewart is the pastor of Pea Ridge United Methodist Church and Brightwater Methodist Church. The opinions expressed of the writer. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org or 479-659-9519.Religion on 10/10/2018
Print Headline: Store up treasures in Heaven