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.
Many have taken verse 21 to mean that where I put my money is where my heart will be meaning then that how I spend my money or use my money or invest my money my heart will follow in loving that which I value through the use of my money. Or to put another way where your money goes your love will follow. But it this correct? Notice that Jesus speaks of two kinds of treasures – those that are earthly and those that are heavenly. When we consider earthly treasures clearly Jesus is speaking broader than money because there are many things we can treasure that have monetary value, but are not money – like art, cars, collectables, homes, or just about anything money can buy. But what are treasures in heaven? These are not tangible in the same way because they can’t be stolen nor destroyed. Earlier in the chapter Jesus speaks of the rewards of the Father we receive from doing selfless acts (charity and fasting) that no one knows about, so Jesus could be referring to those treasures. In any case, what is clear is that one is tangible and the other is not, so when Jesus says “where your treasure is, there your heart will be also” he can’t be referring to merely tangible money. Since there are clearly two kinds of treasure spoken of we must ask what motivates us to treasure, value, and prize either worldly things or heavenly things? If we were to consider the rest of the scriptures we would come to the realization that what I treasure comes from the motivation of my heart so what Jesus is really saying in verse 21 is that what I value in my heart is what I will make evident as being my treasure. If I value in my heart the things of this world then I will store up treasures here on earth, but if I value heavenly things, then I will store up treasures in heaven. This is why Paul tells us in Colossians 3 to be heavenly minded by looking to Christ. When we look to Christ our hearts will be transformed to love the things of God which will result in storing up heavenly treasures, but when we look to ourselves we will always fall back into our default mode and store up earthly treasures. So look to Christ, behold him, or as the wonderful hymn says: “Turn your eyes upon Jesus, look full in his wonderful face, and the things of earth will grow strangely dim in the light of his glory and grace.”