“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal.” – Matthew 6:19.
The Sermon on the Mount continues here. Jesus is emphasizing what it means to lead a righteous life on earth. Those hearing Him for the first time may have been surprised how different His message sounded, compared to Israel’s religious leaders. Most religious leaders in that era focused entirely on words and actions—on outward behaviors. Jesus has been teaching that what God cares about most, and what ultimately determines righteousness, are the motivations of a sincere heart. What we do and why we do it both factor into God’s approval.
Now Jesus turns to focus on money and possessions. He tells His followers not to stockpile material goods in this life. He will soon clarify why this is such a dangerous practice. He begins here by saying that money and possessions are not dependable. They are easily lost. Clothing and other fabric can be eaten by moths. Metal objects rust. Thieves skillfully identify the wealthy and break into homes to steal their goods. Disaster and chaos can take every material possession we have in an instant.
We have this beautiful day just about every 2 weeks in my town. A day where we can put anything out on the curb and it magically disappears the next morning. Someone takes it. It’s magnificent. We call it “Take Anything Day” and we love it.
So, because we have this amazing opportunity every 2 weeks. I try almost every time it happens to have something out there. It’s a continual purge in my home. We have so much “stuff” and need to get rid of it….like really…just get rid of it. Get rid of all of the junk that we’ve accumulated over the years.
Kind of like life right. We have so much baggage, so much junk in our lives. So much emotional and physical baggage that piles up in our minds, our hearts, our souls that sometimes we can’t get out of our own way. Sometimes we can’t see the forest for the trees as that old saying goes.
Jesus here, so very very clearly, is telling us to take part in the purge. Every 2 weeks, take the junk out. Get rid of it. It’s all eroding, decaying garbage anyway.
The things that last? Love, peace, hope, goodness, kindness. These are the traits that the Father wants to teach us. These are the items to store.