What do you treasure? Whatever it is, is it safe? Can its value be affected by fluctuations in the economy, wavering personal relationships, or a change in personal fortune? Can it be lost, stolen, or destroyed?
If we're feeling a little shaky about how truly safe our treasures are - and even if we're not - we may do well to consider what we really value in light of the counsel Christ Jesus urged upon his followers. ''Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal,'' he advised them. ''But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: for where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.'' n1
n1 Matthew 6:19-21.
Jesus certainly did not shrug off human needs; through his understanding of God as divine Love he compassionately cared for them. But he did recognize that what we prize becomes what we trust and worship. And he taught that God alone is the source of permanent, changeless good. So rich was Jesus' understanding of God and of man's true being as His spiritual image, that through his resurrection he was able to prove one of mankind's greatest treasures - life itself - to be untouched by the mortal experience called death. The treasure Jesus loved and shared with others - the revelation of God and man as forever inseparable - is still available to enrich our lives today.
Christian Science stresses that true substance is not material; it is spiritual. ''Things spiritual and eternal are sub-stantial,'' writes Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science. ''Things material and temporal are insubstantial.'' n2
n2 Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, p. 335.
It certainly isn't wrong to own things or to invest our money wisely. What is unwise, however, is allowing material possessions to become the basis of our trust and our sense of well-being. To the degree that we believe our security lies in matter, we are blinded to the unchanging spiritual riches that constitute man's heritage as the beloved of God. Jesus put it succinctly when he told his disciples, ''Children, how hard is it for them that trust in riches to enter into the kingdom of God!'' n3
n3 Mark 10:24.
Everything material is ultimately subject to change, decay, destruction. But the treasures that God bestows do not vary in value or constancy. These unchanging gifts of health, joy, freedom, wisdom, and love are man's to express and enjoy. In proportion as we turn to God instead of matter as the source of our well-being - lay up treasures in heaven instead of on earth, so to speak - we will find these spiritual riches manifested in our lives in meaningful ways.
For example, the individual who cherishes and strives for a growing understanding of God as Father-Mother and of man as His perpetually loved child, and who refuses to bow down to the belief in man as a vulnerable mortal, will feel increasingly secure and experience greater evidence of God's provision.
Jesus was constantly proving God's care for man both for himself and for the multitudes who sought him; and he promised that his followers would do the same. The Christ, the divine idea of God's power and love demonstrated by the Master, is still transforming mankind today - spiritualizing human consciousness and thereby blessing human lives.
In reality, our treasures are safe because they are God-given. As we awake to this fact, we begin to glimpse and experience the unchanging spiritual riches referred to in this Bible verse: ''Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.'' n4
n4 James 1:17.
DAILY BIBLE VERSE Charge them that are rich in this world, that they be not highminded, nor trust in uncertain riches, but in the living God, who giveth us richly all things to enjoy; that they do good, that they be rich in good works, ready to distribute, willing to communicate; laying up in store for themselves a good foundation against the time to come, that they may lay hold on eternal life. I Timothy 6:17-19