Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. Matthew 6:19-21
One of the critical questions young professionals face is how to plan their career path. Should they go straight for a graduate degree to get a leg up on the job market competition? Is it more important to spend a few years in a prestigious firm to get the best professional contacts and training? Should they pay up for a highly rated career coach or image manager? A lot of time, money, and energy is invested in these questions, along with a lot of hand wringing.
It isn’t just the young who do it, either. Mid-career professionals can be the worst about this. I have known lawyers who spent more time working on landing their next position than they did working for their clients. As they get older, the intensity can get worse, especially if there are unfulfilled goals from those early years. They can feel the end of their careers sneaking up on them and they can become absolutely desperate to get to the top of their particular ladder before time steps in and calls them to a halt.
Sadly, virtually none of those questions, goals, or positions has any eternal significance. They might as well have invested in becoming the world’s best at punching elevator buttons or blowing dandelions. They just don’t matter.
The saddest part of their story is the coin they invested – themselves. All that God crafted in them, the unique gene pool that He concocted just for them, the long series of individual experiences, all invested in pushing elevator buttons and spreading weeds. It strikes me as a terrible, terrible waste.
I hope it does you, too. Because the option to invest in more significant things is in your hands. In our text for today, the Lord Jesus instructs us not to invest in earthly treasures. We generally think of this as an admonition not to be focused on material wealth. Bugs will eat your expensive clothes and your silver and gold will decay.
You know what else is going to be eaten by bugs and decay – you and me! Our text for today is a warning not to invest ourselves in ourselves. We too are passing away, just like the rest of the material world. What if we invested our time, energy, and resources in advancing the Kingdom of God, the world that will outlast ours? Make it so, my friends, and receive an eternal return on all you invest.