Have you ever noticed that the way you perceive yourself and the way others perceive you can be very different? Think about it like this….
You get up every morning, bathe, groom and dress, look in the mirror and head off to work or school. The picture you have of your appearance came from the mirror. Let’s call this your self-perception.
Someone then emails you a picture of you from the same day. Many times we look different in the picture than we believed we did in the mirror. You know the old saying… “The camera doesn’t lie.”
Our tendency as humans is to see what we want to see; especially when it comes to ourselves. We look in the mirror and we evaluate ourselves and most of us have rationalized the things we do not like to a point where they have become acceptable in our lives. Some of these things are innocent and some of them need work.
All the ways of a man seem right to him, but the LORD evaluates the motives. (Proverbs 21:2)
Jesus is really big on our hearts. He is definitely interested in our actions, but our motives and desires are just as important to Him. Christianity is not a set of rules and practices to be observed through word and action, but a relationship with God that cleanses the heart and conscience from sin; truly changing us from the inside out.
So, how can we know if we are looking in the mirror and possibly deceiving ourselves or seeing what God sees?
Let’s use one of Jesus’ statements to do it today.
For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also. (Matthew 6:21)
This is not the only way to evaluate our heart and motives, but it is one of the most practical ways.
There is no secret meaning in these words. Our bank accounts, browser history and extracurricular activities are great indicators on the location of our treasure.
- Whose kingdom are we building?
- What are the motives behind our actions and/or activities?
Let’s balance this message out before we dig any deeper.
This message is not anti-
- Retirement fund
- Savings account
- Family vacation
- Dinner & a movie
The message of Christ in this verse is anti-
We all must work.
In fact, when we were with you, this is what we commanded you: “If anyone isn’t willing to work, he should not eat.” (2 Thessalonians 3:10) New Testament
God gave us the ability and authority to make money
But remember the LORD your God, for it is he who gives you the ability to produce wealth, and so confirms his covenant, which he swore to your forefathers, as it is today. (Deuteronomy 8:18)
We should be working to provide for the needs of our family
If anyone does not provide for his relatives, and especially for his immediate family, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever. (1Timothy 5:8)
God cares very much what we do with our money
Jesus sat down near the collection box in the Temple and watched as the crowds dropped in their money. Many rich people put in large amounts. Then a poor widow came and dropped in two small coins.
Jesus called his disciples to him and said, “I tell you the truth, this poor widow has given more than all the others who are making contributions. For they gave a tiny part of their surplus, but she, poor as she is, has given everything she had to live on.” (Mark 12:41-44)
Notice in each of these verses that the onus remains on us.
We should be working to make a living so that we can provide for our own needs, the needs of our family, to help those less fortunate than we are and to finance the spreading of the gospel. Each of these things requires money.
Is there any judgment from God upon you for the size of your paycheck? Absolutely not; but this absence of judgment goes in both directions. Wealthy, poor or middle-class we are all children of God. The only judgments concerning salary and wealth that frequently take place are between believers.
The substance of Jesus’ statement is heart and desire. What are we after here on the earth?
Regardless of our intentions we are building a kingdom here on the earth. The location of our treasure answers the question, “Whose kingdom?”
Are we working and earning to be a conduit of blessing and finance into the Kingdom of God or are we working to build our own power and wealth?
No one else can answer that question but you and no one else is asking but God.
Just think of Jesus sitting in the temple watching people give in the offering. He was not interested in how much they gave as much as he was interested in what they were keeping for themselves.
Work hard, be successful, plan for retirement, have nice things but remember that Jesus owns it all.
Let’s go back to 1990 and meditate on some dc talk.
70 years is all we got, to accumulate goods that seem to mean a lot
For the first 20 years, you’re off to school, learning’ principles and learning’ the tools
To make lots of money, the ultimate goal, gain the whole world and yet lose ya soul
Huh, humanism is on a roll
20 gets the knowledge, 30 years to apply and just 20 years left for asking’ why
I didn’t realize what it was all about and, was there any use in this rigorous route because
Things of this world are passing’ away, Here tomorrow, but they’re sure not here to stay
Things of this world are passing’ away, So lay your treasure above and start to live for Him today
All done for self in this world will pass, and all done for Christ in this world will last
Sounds like a simple task…
But everyday life seems to get in the way, No time to serve, barely time to pray
Our focal points lost and we get tossed In the wind, cold facing the cost
Of falling without stalling or even calling the Lord
While you were blackballing He was waiting for you to see the light
And find for yourself, these things are trite
Our mind transforms a want to a need a simple process that we call greed
Ya say ya like to have money, well I do too; the problem starts when the money has you
Working’ overtime to keep up with the pace, a lifestyle that you want to embrace
But it’s 2 steps from where your needs are met, you’re keeping up with the Joneses, but your all in debt
Which will lead to stress, not meeting the bills, while ya sporting a Benz with all the thrills
The domino effect’s gotcha life in check, a temporary stitch and ya living a wreck
Don’t lay up your treasures upon this Earth
They’ll soon pass away
And all return to dirt (Kevin Max Smith; Toby McKeehan; Michael Tait)
It’s like this:
Our earthly investments reveal our heart’s actual desires. Make sure your mirror image shows you the same things God sees.