“Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in to steal. But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.” Matthew 6:19-21
The first light on the dashboard of my life that alerts me to trouble under the hood is acquistions. In other words, my desire to acquire tells me something has gone haywire in my heart. When I find myself wanting stuff that I don’t really need it tips me off to my heart’s dissatisfaction with seeking first the Lord, His Kingdom, and His righteousness.
I remember shopping one day for a new pair of black dress shoes. I had worn out my old pair, even replacing the soles a couple of times. But I was about to preach my grandfather’s funeral and thought it might be a good time for a new pair of shoes. While shopping I noticed this powerful urge to buy other stuff. I saw things I thought I needed, things that would not have come to mind if I hadn’t seen them on the way to finding shoes! That urge to splurge flashed on the dashboard of my life and warned me that my heart was asking “what shall I wear?” instead of “how shall I seek and savor and serve the King and His kingdom?”
A walk through Wal-Mart will weigh our wants. Here’s a test: see if you can leave Wal-Mart (or the mall or other such place) with only one item. It’s difficult to go to places like that with a list and only leave with what you came to get!
As a kid I would occasionally pester my parents for the latest Atari video game or some other trinket. When my dad had heard enough, he was known to say with a whiny, mocking voice: “I want, I want, I want. I need, I need. I gotta have. Gi’me, gi’me, gi’me!” Those words too often describe the cry of my heart. And the more I want something, the more I think I need it. The more I “need” it, the more I’ve “gotta have” it, until my heart is overflowing with “gi’me, gi’me, gi’me.” This is a light on the dashboard for me, telling me my heart is crying out for an idol when it was made for a King and Kingdom that are worth more than all that I can or do possess (Matthew 13:44-46).
When I pay attention to this indicator, I have a fresh opportunity to repent of my idolatry and embrace Jesus again as the One who endured the penalty for my materialism. Only the Gospel can cure my greedy grasp of trinkets and secure my grip on Jesus my Treasure.
Has the acquisition light been flashing on your dashboard lately?