Jesus said, “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.” (Matthew 6:19-20)
Squirrels scurry about our lawns hiding their winter stashes of nuts this time of year. Imagine a squirrel who had a very good season. Fall blessed him with such a surplus of acorns and walnuts that he had enough for not just one Winter but two. Yet, Winter that year was longer and colder. Many of his fellow squirrels were starving, some even died. Their Fall harvest was not as fortunate as his. Though this squirrel knew where he hid every nut, he dare not give any away even though the suffering was great. After all, what if next Fall was not as good to him? What if next Winter was even more severe?
Winter turned to Spring, and Spring to Summer, and Summer to Fall. That Fall was not as good to him as the previous, but it was nonetheless sufficient. When Winter hit, being the wise and industrious squirrel he was, he chose to go through the old stock before getting into the new. But horror upon horrors, every year-old acorn and walnut he dug up was infested with bugs. Not one of them was good for eating. With a heavy, sad, grief stricken heart, he moaned to himself, “That acorn would have sustained my brother Bob who died last winter,” and, “That walnut could have fed sister Sally, she would not have suffered as she had.” “What a foolish Squirrel am I,” he cried.
Do we not do the same? With the extra tablet or computer we purchase but do not really need, the TV we bought that is just a little too big for the room, the vacation that went beyond our basic need for Sabbath rest, the truck we bought when the old one worked fine, are we not that squirrel? These treasures rot.
How much better would the world be if more of us accumulated our treasures in heaven rather than on earth? If only more of us were richer in good deeds, generosity, and willingness to share (1 Timothy 6:17-19). Jesus left the riches of heaven, became poor for our sake, so that we would be his treasure (2 Corinthians 8:9). He who saved us from our sin transfers us from the way of greed to the way of generosity.