Sunday, August 6, 2017

both or neither

St John Chrysostom talks to us today about investing in A Year with the Church Fathers. He extends the metaphor of not storing up treasure on earth, where rust and moths can corrupt it, but instead storing up our treasures in heaven where they're safe from corruption.

And he says something which we've all heard before, but in a way that resonated today. He says that if we focus on scrooging away our money and building bigger barns, we will lose all of it. No one keeps anything. In the end, we hand it all over to someone else. And if that's been our focus throughout our entire lives, then we squander our eternal riches, too, because we haven't stored up any.

But, if we focus on storing up eternal riches, giving our time and money and energy to helping those in need, and loving the people God puts in our lives, then yes, we put our treasure in a safe place. But we ALSO receive so much more in this lifetime. Why is that? Because when we learn to give, people trust us. They want to help us give, and they give us more so that we can invest that, too.

You know what it's like when you meet someone and you can tell they want something from you. You tend to hold on more closely to what you've got. But when they clearly want to give to you, and help you in your pursuits, then you are freed to give back to them, and trust them because of their very disinterest.

There's a saying, that we "can't outgive God". And St John tells us about that truth today. If we give what we have to Him, He not only turns it into eternal savings which we'll enjoy forever, but he throws in a lifetime of blessings in this life, as well.

Seek first His kingdom. You'll be glad you did.

If you wonder what that means practically, ask Him to show you. He'll do it. And here are some ways to do it.

God, please help us to invest eternally... and reap some temporal rewards.