A Different Type of Hoarding

by Terri Gillespie

Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal. Matthew 6:19 TLV

Guess what? I found out that I hoard of a different type. There are hoarders in my family, so I get a bit freaky when I think I’m gathering more stuff than I should—you know that moment. The moment when you think, “I can find a place for it.”

But, the hoarding I’m talking is spiritual hoarding of earthly treasures. It may sound like an oxymoron but stick with me.

In today’s verse, Jesus continues His “Sermon on the Mount” in chapter 6 (the Sermon encompasses chapters 5-7). Really, the context of verse 19 is the first twenty-four verses of chapter six.

It’s not just about treasuring treasures like property, commerce, jewels, etc. But the meaning of earthly treasures in this verse is much broader when taken in context.

“Beware of practicing your righteousness before others to be seen by them; otherwise you have no reward from your Father in heaven” (vs. 1 TLV).

To advertise our good works is a form of storing up treasure for ourselves — we’re getting that attention for our altruism. Rather than the right hand not knowing what the left hand is doing (Matthew 6:3), we’re pointing out our worthy deeds.

“When you pray, do not be like the hypocrites; for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners, so that they may be seen by others. Amen, I tell you, they have their reward in full!” (vs. 5 TLV).

Glitzy piety — oh, don’t get me started on that one — only grabs the attention of those around them, not our Father. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy a good “praise party”, just so long as the focus is praising the LORD not the tech and special effects. Corporate worship is powerful.

“But if you do not forgive others, neither will your Father forgive your transgressions” (vs. 15 TLV)

Self-righteousness is another earthly treasure. How does our self-righteousness compare to that of our Father? Filthy rags (Isaiah 64:5). Yikes! That’s like assuming we can be forgiven, but we can’t forgive others because they have offended us. Not good. The Lord doesn’t play that game. Criticism and judgment can fall into that category, too.

“And whenever you fast, do not become sad-faced like the hypocrites, for they neglect their faces to make their fasting evident to men. Amen, I tell you, they have their reward in full!” (vs. 16 TLV)

Another form of ostentatious piety. All that fasting and nothing to really “show” for it. All earthly treasures. What a waste! What are the eternal treasures? Those we can’t see or show off to others.

“For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also” (vs. 21 TLV).

This is where examining our heart — our motives — for GOD’s work is so important.  The treasures of the heart are humility, gratitude, and a kind and honorable point-of-view. We seek justice for the oppressed. Set our eyes and mind on things that are pure and beautiful. Rejoice with those who rejoice. Weep with those who weep. Live a life of integrity — without seeking attention or praise.

Let all praise and honor go to our Lord and taking none for ourselves. Those are eternal treasures — treasures of the heart.

Why is it important that we store up these heart treasures? Because He first loved us. Before we gave a hoot about our Creator — our Heavenly Father — He sent His Son to demonstrate His love. To atone for the sins separating us from Him.

Really, that’s the greatest treasure of all.

This article is brought to you by the Advanced Writers and Speakers Association (AWSA).

About the author: Award-winning author and speaker, Terri Gillespie writes stories of faith and redemption to nurture souls. Her novels, devotionals, messages, and blogs have drawn readers to hunger for a deeper relationship with their Heavenly Father, because of His Son Jesus. Her newest novel, Sweet Rivalry, released in October. https://authorterrigillespie.com/terri-gillespie-books/sweet-rivalry/

Sweet Rivalry, the story of twins separated by a troubled mother. One twin is lovingly raised by her grandmother who owns a small-town bakery. The other sister is raised by an addict mother. They discover one another through a televised baking competition. But will rivalry break them apart again?

Join the conversation: Have you reexamined your heart lately?


6 thoughts on “A Different Type of Hoarding

  1. Terri, I love your devotional–such a good reminder about the treasures of the heart. Lots to think about that are so important–as I want to be Christ-centered instead of self-centered. Thanks! Fran

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Don’t you love how creative our Father is in helping us understand these concepts. Thanks for the read, Fran. God bless you.


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