Why does it seem like treasure is usually hidden? It’s either behind locked doors or buried deep. It takes hard work and many steps or lessons to learn along the way before it’s found. I’ve wondered if it is worth the search or if it even exists.
Webster’s defines treasure as: precious objects; somebody or something valuable, great worth, accumulate and store something you value, (even hoard), precious possessions of any kind.
Oh, I have many treasures!
· Three I gave birth to.
· One I married.
· Some I’ve been employed by.
· Others I feed every morning and pet them.
· Wells Fargo stores some of my treasure.
· The mirror clutches my treasured image.
These are my treasures. Therefore my mind has a hard time wrapping itself around Matthew 6:21. “Wherever your treasure is, there the desires of your heart will also be.”
Shouldn’t I treasure my kids and my husband? Is there anything wrong with loving my two Black Labradors who love me unconditionally? Can’t I care about the job I do for my employer? Or be concerned with my “Godly” image?
Yes and No. Yes, you should care about these things. The negative is: when what you consider treasure is actually an idol.
WHAT???? You may be thinking. Yeah, it stopped me dead in my tracks too and had me shaking my head asking the same question.
I don’t have idols in my life! Out of all of the Ten Commandments that is one of the least of my concerns. Idols are something from Ancient Bible times. I don’t worship a golden calf Aaron built, nor own an Asherah pole from Gideon’s family. I don’t bow down and worship things. I am a good Christian, go to church Sunday and read my Bible. I don’t have idols in my life do I?
In my search for that answer I began a treasure hunt and found something.
My definition of an idol was incorrect. ANYTHING you serve besides God, or anything from which you derive your sense of life, value and acceptance, is an idol. Elyse Fitzpatrick says, “Idols aren’t just stone statues. No, idols are thoughts, desires, longings, and expectations that we worship in place of the true God. Idols cause us to ignore the true God in search of what we think we need.”
All….righty then, maybe I need to take another glance at my treasures through the lens of an idol.
· My kids –Do I gain my value from being their mother rather than value from God?
· My husband – Do I gain my value from being married 35 years?
· My boss – Do I desire his/her acceptance more than God’s acceptance of me?
· My dogs – Do I spend more time with them than time with God?
· My money – Does my sense of security come from my saving account balance?
· My image – Is keeping my image untarnished more important than God?
The defining factor determining an idol is my response when it is threatened. I would tense up, get argumentative and angry and not want to let go. I’d attempt to prove I DID NOT have idols in my life.
I was wrong.
Yes, my family should be important. Yes, I should love them and care for them but not where there is no room left in my heart for God. He cares about my family, my needs, and my dogs. The problem is when I care about the cares of my own little world MORE than I care about my relationship with God. I discovered I’d been polishing up idols and placing them devotedly on my mental mantel for years.
It was while taking them down unearthed hidden treasure became evident in the dust surrounding the removed idols. The dust was evidence of my sin although the lesson I learned was forgiveness. God wiped away the mark and I was forgiven. No evidence or shame. No throwing it my face ever again.
What I saw gleaming back at me was an immense desire to forgive others in response to the forgiveness I’d received. Not only because Colossians 3:13 tells me to, but because I want to.