Thursday, May 2, 2013

Earthly goods VERSUS Heavenly Treasure

Lately I've grown rather tired of hearing the statement, "It's mine!"

It's become such a prevalent phrase in our house that it is used for even the most ridiculous and frivolous of things. 

For example, nearly every morning the boys argue about which color breakfast bowl and cup they use.

"The green one is MINE," one demands.
"No, it's MINE," the other whines.

Good grief.

Yesterday I came across a rather humorous adage that sums up this frequent attitude of my children in regards to what is "rightly" theirs:

Children's Property Laws
1.  If I like it, it's mine.
2.  If I can take it from you, it's mine.
3.  If I had it a little while ago, it's mine.
4.  If it's mine, it must never appear to be yours in any way.
5.  If it looks like mine, it's mine.
6.  If it's yours and I steal it, it's mine.
7.  If I think it's mine, it's mine.
8.  It it's broken, it's yours.

So true, isn't it?

As parents, how do we combat this attitude coated in selfish ambition?
How do we teach our children that treasures stored up on this earth are meaningless and temporary BUT that treasures stored up in heaven are significant and eternal?
And then furthermore, how do we answer our children when they ask, "What is heavenly treasure?"

 Scripture teaches that this whole issue of heavenly versus earthly treasure really comes down to the heart: 

"For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also." 
Matthew 6:21 

In other words, which do we love moreearthly goods or heavenly treasure?

Storing up treasure in heaven is living life with open hearts and open hands.

Open hearts means we have a heart that God has – one for the poor, the weak the disenfranchised and the marginalized.

Open hands means that we have a loose grip on our own possessions so that our earthly goods are used to have an impact on those who are less fortunate for the sake of Jesus Christ.

Jesus Himself came to "preach good news to the poor...proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind...and to release the oppressed." Luke 4:18

The  "It's Mine!"  statement grants us the perfect opportunity to begin teaching our children about earthly goods versus heavenly treasure.

Join me in prayer today:

Jesus, I pray that my children would begin to understand how meaningless and temporary possessions on this earth are.  I pray in those, "It's Mine!" moments that You would reveal to them their selfish hearts and expose the lie that earthly goods are theirs to keep.  I pray they would grow to love heavenly treasure above earthly goods.  And I pray they would learn to store up treasures in heaven by having open hearts to God and open hands to the world around them.   

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