Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: 20 But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal:21 For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also. 22 The light of the body is the eye: if therefore thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light. 23 But if thine eye be evil, thy whole body shall be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in thee be darkness, how great is that darkness! Matthew 6.19-23
The famed preacher of yesteryear defined character as ‚Äúwhat a man does in the dark‚ÄĚ. Even though Webster‚Äôs may differ in variation, I believe one is hard pressed to find, at the very least, a better description of true character. In the public eye, most people can keep up a charade becoming a daily play actor who simply is performing a role in front of others. But, the true self, the one they really are, shines forth when behind the curtain of darkness assuming no one is looking and no one would become privy of the nature of their vices. One of the greatest deterrents of faithfulness is a life lived as a facade. Once the layers of exposure are pulled back, such individuals look for an exit, moving on to another place again acting out a script written in their own heart and devised upon what they have constructed behind the veil of deception.
As sad as this truth may be, the good news is it can be overcome. The Lord has given us instructions on how to avoid becoming such a soul who lives a life of such instability. He has established a value system for His believers to hold to and apply in their daily lives. Verses 1-34 of Matthew 6 is such the system. The first step in effective Christianity is the establishment of core values. No matter the position, be it a leader or not, core values of Christianity must be in place. There are many who seek for a position, but lack the skills to lead. This is not necessarily a bad thing, if we have an entire team of leaders, the work would not be done. But one thing is true, no one will ever be a leader if they do not first know how to follow. This is the first core value of which before it is set in stone, none may be added. A man in authority is a man who knows how to be under authority, ‚ÄúFor I am a man under authority, having soldiers under me: and I say to this man, Go, and he goeth; and to another, Come, and he cometh; and to my servant, Do this, and he doeth it.‚ÄĚ (Matthew 8:9). This is the first principle value every man, woman or child adhere to before building a core system of values.
Once an individual is able to be under authority, in their heart and life, core Christian values can be established which will enable a soul to have and exercise true Christian character. Core values are important to our life, until they are set, we are basically trying to guide a ship without sails.
What is your vision? Do you have a personal mission in life? Have you written a strategy to achieve them? If you have not set a core system of Biblical values, writing something greater than your opinion or feelings a vision will only be a dream and the mission and strategy are an impossibility without definitive values are present. Jesus understood this, therefore, in the early stages of developing the disciples, He pulled them out of their comfort zone with this foundational issue. Matthew 6.1-34 records Jesus‚Äô initial lesson on values. However, it is verses 19-21 where the Lord focused the lesson to a great degree saying, ‚ÄúLay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: 20 But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven‚Ä¶‚ÄĚ. The heart is the center of your treasure. Wherever our focus, attention, affection and resources are, is where we place our values (v. 21). Therefore, Jesus taught the disciples to focus their values on things which would bear eternal benefit, rather than just temporary pleasure.
The greatest difficulty in doing so is not the fact we all have to live and work in the world in order to provide for our families, but it is finding the proper balance in working and living in the world while maintaining a Heavenly focus. The ‚Äėjust weights‚Äô which delight the Lord are found when we set our treasure upon the eternal while living and working in the temporal. This is the idea of Matthew 6, it is the catalyst too the the value question. Read Matthew 6:1‚Ä¶ do you see it now? The idea is not leaving the public view to live for God, but rather living for God through the public eye. We are to live in a manner of constant attention toward the Lord. This is where and why a core value system is vitally important. Our life is to be lived for the Lord, not to please man. But in order to live for Christ, we must value our fellowman so while we are living for the Lord we are seeking to be a blessing to them.
The greatest benchmark for our core value system is to ask ourselves: ‚ÄúIs what I am doing pleasing to God?‚ÄĚ If the answer is yes, then you have fulfilled the teaching of Matthew 6, although we must keep in mind in the midst of offering the answer to this lythmus test is to remember, character is what a man does in the dark. Even though our actions may equate to what should be pleasing to God, is our heart (affection, attention, focus etc.) toward the Lord or still toward mankind? Be encouraged today, Christ has given us a process of establishing a core value system in our life, one set to please Him while blessing those we live and work with on a daily basis.
For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.