Matthew 6:19 “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. 20 But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. 21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. 22 The eye is the lamp of the body. If your eyes are good, your whole body will be full of light. 23 But if your eyes are bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light within you is darkness, how great is that darkness! 24 No one can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and Money.”
Ever wonder about giving a child something that can be useful, but that can also be harmful? When is a child old enough to have a sharp knife at the dinner table, or his own jack knife? When is it safe to let him or her use matches? When is a teen old enough to drive a car on the freeway? The law may set a minimum age to bring some order and common sense to the issue, but many parents I know have set a later date for their teen than the one the state allows.
We can readily see that material wealth is useful. It may not be so clear to us that it is also highly dangerous. Scripture is full of warnings about the damage money and possessions threaten to do to our souls. “People who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap, and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge men into ruin and destruction.” “Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.” “Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.”
And yet, in spite of the danger, God has trusted us. When you consider the wealth of the people gathering to celebrate Thanksgiving around our country, it staggers the imagination. We live in homes or apartments that are cool in the summer and warm in the winter. Many of our families have two or more cars. We have enough clothing to wear something different every day for weeks on end if we wanted to. Televisions, cell phones, refrigerators so stuffed with food that we throw much of it away, even though we can keep it for weeks.
Our Thanksgiving holiday focuses especially on these blessings that come from the hand of our generous Lord. As we give thanks for them, let’s remember the warning Jesus gives us in these words. You cannot serve both God and Money. Then let’s remember the greater treasure waiting for us in heaven, entirely the gift of his love and sacrifice.