Don’t store up treasures here on earth, where moths eat them and rust destroys them, and where thieves break in and steal. Store your treasures in heaven, where moths and rust cannot destroy, and thieves do not break in and steal. Wherever your treasure is, there the desires of your heart will also be. - Matthew 6:19-21
This time of year it is so easy to get caught up in presents, parties, and preparations for Christmas.
Yesterday, I found myself with an extended lunch break and decided to quickly run do some shopping for my son. I only needed to hit two or three stores within a mile or two of each other.
The gifts I sought were not needed, but ones that I wanted to get him - extra gifts to add to a pile of gifts I know he will be receiving this year.
By the time I was done, I had privately cursed out at least two people for stealing parking spots from me. My anger and frustration level were high because I could not find exactly what I was looking for in the stores. And, the one thing I did find and buy, I'm confident the store had raised the price on from just a week ago when my son pointed it out to me.
Everything which hinders us from loving God above all things and acts as a barrier between ourselves and our obedience to Jesus is our treasure, and the place where our heart is.” - Bonhoeffer "Cost of Discipleship"
As I made my way back to my office, I could not help but feel saddened and a little embarrassed that I had lost focus, once again, of the true meaning of Christmas. I had allowed the craziness of the holiday to rule in my heart for that moment and create a barrier between myself and Christ.
I allowed my heart to be focused on the treasures of this world - gifts, approval of my children, meeting some false expectation for providing for my family, and in doing so I created a barrier between me and Jesus.
As a leader, everything I pursue (approval, profit, new clients, sales, awards) that distracts me from loving God above everything else is a barrier to my obedient relationship with Christ and a reflection of where my heart is focused.
And sometimes it is difficult for me to see this in my life until it shows up in these private moments while out shopping for Christmas gifts. In these moments, I have a "heart check" and I have to say to myself, "Wait, what am I doing? Why am I so stressed? Why am I putting so much emphasis on this?"
Laying next to my son at bedtime last night - praying with him - laughing with him - doing funny voices for him - I realized these moments with him were the types 0f treasures I should be seeking and storing up each day.
Treasures that are born out of fellowship, serving, and caring for those I love, lead, and serve. Treasures that come from teaching moments. Treasures that come from me taking the time to be obedient to God and follow Jesus in every area of my life.
Father, thank you for the greatest treasure we could ever receive - your son, Jesus the Christ. Help me to be obedient to him - serve him - and find my satisfaction and treasure in him alone. Amen.
- Where do you find yourself storing up treasures - on earth or in heaven?
- What are you doing this Christmas season to share the Good News of Jesus?
- What would you say is the focus of your leadership at home and at work as we approach Christmas?
Make it a great day!