Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal.
I used to work as a counselor at a summer camp in between school years when I was in college. We had one particular building with a big covered patio that served as the snack bar for the campers three times a day. All of the snacks for the campers were inside the snack bar either in refrigerators or up on shelves and racks. There was also a little back room where the staff could keep their own snacks so that we weren’t limited to just the snacks that the kids ate. The problem with that back room is that it was a lot easier for mice to hide in, and there was a lot more that was readily available for them to eat. I remember once, I took a carton of crackers out of my cubby and there was a hole chewed through the bottom corner and a half of a sleeve of crackers missing!
That’s what I always think of when I read this verse. We have two choices. Store up our own snacks in the back room where the mice can get them, or eat the snacks from the front room where the mice can’t get to the food. It’s not a perfect metaphor, but it works.
Often, we think we have to store up wealth and material possessions to keep us happy and comfortable, to set us apart from the crowd, to give us status or superiority. We want the snacks that the campers don’t get – per say. We get so caught up in storing up these things for ourselves that we don’t realize that the place we’re storing it all in is infested with mice. All of these things will be defiled and ruined, and they’ll end up in the trash.
On the other hand, we are able to store up for ourselves treasures in heaven. We’re able to safely build up relationships, love, wisdom, joy, and faith and store them in a place that has no mice. It’s a safe place. It’s a place where investments don’t go bust and snacks don’t go stale or get eaten by grimy critters.
What are you storing up? More importantly, where are you storing it? Your hard work, your enterprising spirit, even your hard earned money are not bad things. But it’s very possible that you’re storing them in the wrong place, investing them in the wrong market. Give these things back to God, don’t hoard them for yourself. You’ll find in the end that he can take much better care of it all in the long run than you can.
I trust you and your promises. I trust that the treasures I store up with you will last forever and will not be destroyed. I pray that you would help me to invest my time, my energy, and my money into building your kingdom and not my own.
In Jesus’ Name,