On Stewardship and the Orthodox Life - Part 75: Treasures, Rust and Thieves

“…lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust consumes and where thieves do not break in and steal. (Matthew 5:21 RSV)

So many of God’s people have come under the complete control of the spirit of this world. Thereby have these same people of God denied their identification as people of God, and could easily be called people of this world, not of the next.

People of this world develop a love for money and what it can buy: houses, land, trinkets, electronics, gourmet food and up-to-date fashions. Love of money becomes so well-developed that such love is absorbed into one’s whole mind and being. Such a love of money shuts out love for the One who created and owns all money. It further drives out love for people and often turns others into competitors for the same money.

The god of this world, money, has blinded so many eyes. Eternal and everlasting concerns are made secondary. For example, electronic media (including television, internet and social media) are all about money: commercials on TV are there simply to entice one to buy; internet ads are everywhere and abound with this or that great “deal”; social media would not exist if it did not make money for those who are founders of it and are invested in it.

In what place in one’s life are those eternal and everlasting concerns? The words of our Lord in the Sermon on the Mount are eternal and everlasting: “Lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust consumes and where thieves do not break in and steal.”

He says “for yourselves.” These eternal and everlasting concerns are what are to motivate us, to fill us up – for they are eternal, they will not pass away, they will not be subject to the ups and downs of this life. God’s promises do not fluctuate like the stock market, or lose their value like the dollar. They do not rust away. No one can steal them.

If someone wants to work for his or her own interest, to build up something that will never pass away, to invest in something that will not lose value, but only gain value – this is not stock, bonds or that “unbeatable” investment opportunity. No; if someone wants to work for his or he own interest, to build up something that will never pass away, look only to Christ and His Church. He is eternal. The Church is everlasting. The value for any person continues not only in this world, but forever in the world to come.

This weekly series of brief thoughts on stewardship and Orthodox life is brought to you by your Diocesan Stewardship Commission.

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