Where are your treasures? Where do you spend your time and resources? In the following guest post, my friend, author Kristen Hogrefe, shares some encouraging (and convicting) insight on how we can focus on what matters this holiday season and throughout the year.
My walk-in guest closet had become a black hole of catch-all, and the time had come to face it. The less “stuff” I have to move after my wedding, the better!
Most of the boxes stacked there centered on my childhood, so maybe that’s why I had put off going through them. Don’t ask me why tossing childhood memorabilia is so hard for me, but it just is.
As I opened a heavy cardboard box, I found myself facing my high school Bible quizzing trophies. I had worked hard to earn them and been so proud of them! However, they’ve been boxed up for years, and I never plan to set them out on a bookshelf again.
Maybe you have your own trophies or keepsakes, and if you’re not ready to part with them yet, that’s okay! Tangible motivation has its time and place. But cleaning out my closet reminded me of a truth or two I don’t want to forget.
Realize what matters in the long run.
What matters more than the medals themselves is what they represent. I spent my high school years memorizing chapters and books of God’s Word. Today, I can’t quote the Bible like I used to, but I believe that these Scriptures will not return to me “void” (Isaiah 55:11 NKJV) but that the Holy Spirit will bring to my “remembrance” those promises just when I need them (John 14:26).
These medals will ultimately deteriorate (faster now that I’m contributing them to the trash), but those Bible verses will resound in my memory. As Isaiah 40:8 says,
“The grass withers, the flower fades, but the word of our God stands forever” (NKJV).
Choose wisely what we treasure.
As a visual society, we often focus on the tangible. We see our cars, our houses, our vacation (or wedding) plans, and our Christmas gifts under the tree. While those things have their place—and I’m certainly grateful for them—they’re just a shell compared to what’s more important: the spiritual conditions of our hearts.
What do we truly treasure? Oftentimes, we can find the answer by watching how we spend our time and money. That’s some self-examination we all need to do. As we consider our answers, let’s remember Jesus’ words:
“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 NKJV).
Live generously and enjoy God’s blessings today.
Yes, the holidays are upon us, and most of us enjoy giving and receiving presents. There’s nothing wrong with sharing and enjoying gifts, as long as those “things” don’t claim a higher place in our hearts than they should. Regardless of our financial status, we should keep our trust in God alone and enjoy what He has given us. I like how Timothy poses this challenge to his readers:
“Command those who are rich in this present age not to be haughty, nor to trust in uncertain riches but in the living God, who gives us richly all things to enjoy” (I Timothy 6:17 NKJV).
Wow! God gives us all things “richly” to enjoy. Really, that’s no surprise, considering He has also called us to live abundantly (John 10:10 NKVJ).
Paychecks aside, let’s consider how we can bless others this Christmas. Sometimes, the best gift is our time or simple ways we can express thoughtfulness and God’s love.
This holiday season and every day, let’s medal in what really matters: living for God with everything we have.
~ By Kristen of KristenHogrefe.com