When Things Get the Best of Us

Sam Petitfils

“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.  For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”  Matthew 7:19-21

Christopher Winans, in his book, Malcolm Forbes: The Man Who Had Everything, writes of a motorcycle tour that Forbes took through Egypt in 1984 with his Capitalist Tool motorcycle team.  After viewing the staggering burial tomb of King Tut, Forbes seemed to be in a reflective mood.

As they were returning to the hotel in a shuttle bus, Forbes turned to one of his associates and asked with all sincerity, "Do you think I'll be remembered after I die?"  Forbes is remembered.  He is remembered as the man who coined the phrase, "He who dies with the most toys wins."  That was the wisdom of Malcolm Forbes.  In fact, that was his ambition.  That's why he collected scores of motorcycles.  That's why he would pay over a million dollars for a Faberge egg.  That's why he owned castles, hot air balloons and countless other toys that he can no longer access.

Years ago, I saw a young man wearing a tee shirt, “He who dies with the most toys, still dies.”  Malcolm Forbes was, unfortunately, deluded and ensnared by things that cannot profit.  But Jesus has a much better plan.

Every investment we make in this life can, unfortunately, disappear.  Think of all the people hurt during the real estate meltdown of 2008.  Many lost houses, estates, and some even took their own lives.

But eternal investments cannot be taken from us.  When we invest our time, talent and treasure in reaching others and promoting God’s interests, we make wise investments.  These investments cannot fade with time nor can they be stolen from us.

So how do we make such investments?  The text above provides the answer: Make sure your heart is in the right place.  If so, you will make eternal investments.  You will look at people and life through spiritual eyes. You will look at needs differently and seek ways to relieve pain and misery.  You will promote God’s interests and seek ways to further His causes.  In short, you will use what you have to be a blessing to other people.

If not, life will turn out much differently.  You will live for yourself, invest in yourself, and ignore others.  You cannot possibly find fulfillment in that sort of life, because those who live for self never find any fulfillment in this life.  Then when you stand before God, what will you have to show for it?

1 Corinthians 3:10-15 reads, “By the grace God has given me, I laid a foundation as a wise builder, and someone else is building on it.  But each one should build with care.  For no one can lay any foundation other than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ.  If anyone builds on this foundation using gold, silver, costly stones, wood, hay or straw, their work will be shown for what it is, because the Day will bring it to light.  It will be revealed with fire, and the fire will test the quality of each person’s work.  If what has been built survives, the builder will receive a reward.  If it is burned up, the builder will suffer loss, but yet will be saved, even though only as one escaping through the flames.”

One day, when we stand before God, those who have made wise eternal investments will be rewarded by God. But those who have neglected such investments, will suffer loss.  We need to take stock of where our heart is, and ask God to give us eyes to see, and ears to hear what He has to say to us.  Wherever our heart is, our treasure follows close by.

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