When We Care We Spend: Habits & The Heart, Part 1

Faith Promise Devotional Series: Day 1, Monday January 26, 2016

[19] “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, [20] but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. [21] For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” (Matthew 6:19-21 ESV)

 

We Spend When We Care: Habits & The Heart, Part 1

We care when we spend, and we spend when we care. This is a simple truth, and one that all of us experience on a daily basis. Realtors recognize that when homebuyers set their hearts on a house that they can envision as their home that their budgets will stretch. Teenagers who have never been motivated to lift a finger at home will move off of the couch into the work force when their hearts are set on a car and the “freedom” it brings. What were once chores to avoid become opportunities to seize when a young child becomes fixated on saving up for a toy that their heart longs to have. Likewise, donors give to charities that provide cures to cancers that plague those they love, and sometimes have lost. When we care we spend.

The opening of our wallets is more than a distribution of our money; it is a demonstration of our heart. As one pastor has said, “Show me your wallet, and I’ll show you your heart.” It is a simple, convicting, and revealing truth for us all. On Monday nights, I have the privilege of meeting with several other men who are committed to supporting one another as we seek to grow as followers of Jesus. As we recently discussed the implications of Jesus’ words here in Matthew 6:19-21, we were asked a penetrating question:

“If an independent auditor were to look over your financial records for the last year, what would he or she say are the causes for which you care”?

 

As Christ-followers here in the United States begin making preparations to complete their tax returns this year, this is a question on which we have ample opportunity to reflect. In verse 21, Jesus describes the same connection between our financial habits and the condition of our hearts when he says, “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” The question of where we invest, how we spend, and to what we give is all a deeper issue regarding that for which we care. Jesus’ words call his followers to examine our hearts and to ask hard questions.

This Sunday at North Cincinnati we are asking the members and regular attenders of our church to participate in our annual Faith Promise pledge drive. Faith Promise is a fund that is overseen by our church's Global Missions Team, who uses the monies that are pledged to support the work of missionaries and missions agencies in a way that is beyond the means of our church’s annual General Fund. These important gifts enable our church to support new missionaries we encounter throughout the year, to help address unexpected crises in the lives of those we support, and to respond in significant ways when disasters strike. As each family and individual considers the call from our church’s leadership to contribute in some way, it is ultimately an opportunity to examine our hearts and the degree to which they long for the kingdom of heaven to come to earth.

Use the Questions below to reflect on the state of your own heart. Take a few minutes throughout the day to process your answers with your heavenly Father through prayer. Recognize that your heavenly Father already knows your answers, and longs to grow you as His child. Ask for his help as you process and pray.

1. What do my current financial habits reveal about the condition of heart? What would an independent auditor of my spending say are the things I care about most?

2. Do I long for heaven or is my life’s purpose solely wrapped up in this earthly and temporary life? Why or why not?

3. If my heart’s concern is not captivated with the heavenly kingdom for which asks us to pray (see Matt. 6:9-13), what is the answer for a change of heart?