On Sunday my pastor spoke a little about anxiety. Jesus tells us not to be anxious (more than once) and yet the same word for anxious is used when Jesus commands us to be 'concerned' about others. My pastor (wisely) pointed out that anxiety is inwardly focused, concern is the same root word...but outwardly focused.
He also spoke of material gain for yourself, vs storing up treasures in heaven. I just wonder how much of my anxiety is tied to this. Material gain.... enrichment classes for the kids, swimming lessons, new toys, new books, new clothes, boating (um, good for family time! obviously! an investment in memories!) There's so much in my life that I think I need, but don't. "D really does need new shoes" I say to myself. And justify spending 15 dollars for a new pair from gymboree.... they are quite stylish, and I got them on sale! But really, I could get him adequete shoes for 2 dollars a second hand store. For free from a friend I know. If I added all of these "needs" up, I can't imagine the needs that could be met from people who actually are in need of food...shelter... clean water...
This makes me question my faith. Really, it's sad that it takes so little to make me question myself, but if I REALLY believed, wouldn't I be living differently? Giving more? Taking less.... God calls us to be cautious not to store up things on earth for ourselves, but rather be investing in wealth that can't be stolen, rotted, taken from us.... So what does that look like?
My husband wisely pointed that it's because we don't know what heavenly treasure looks like, that we don't worry about it too much. We do however know how nice temporary treasures look (like that new f250 I've seen his eye on lately...and that playground set that I've been looking at....) and we worry about that a lot.
So my focus this week is to examine my motives in storing up treasure. Where is my heart? I have no clue what they heavenly treasure will look like, but I bet it is lot more beautiful and valuable than that outfit I was thinking of buying tomorrow.... (what?! Kohls is having a HUGE sale!?)
This is a list I've come up with (biblically based of course!) of ways to store up heavenly treasure. I'd love to hear feedback on how these would look "practically" in your lives:
1. Deeds of mercy
2. Deeds of kindness towards people in distress
3. Giving financially to the poor
4. Rewards according to your own labor (for God) (1Cor3:8)
5. Anyone who gives up something for God's Sake (Mark 10:29)
6. Running a disciplined race, not being distracted (1Cor 9:24ish)