But store for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasurer is, there your heart will be also. — Matthew 6:20
In our fast-paced world and culture of exploding technology and super social media, the idea of living from the heart seems so simple it is almost out of date.
In Matthew 6:20 quoted above, Christ tells us to make the best of every day by storing our treasures in heaven. If we do, we will choose the joys and glories of heaven daily. Eternal treasures are things unseen. They can be in people, places or things. In them we find joy and ensure for ourselves a place in heaven.
But most of us find it hard to live from the heart. We’d much rather live from our heads. There, we think we are in control. Being controlling, we find ourselves constantly tired, stressed out, worried and dealing with health problems and often trying to make a living in the wrong careers, working harder than needed to create new relationships or struggling to maintain old ones we have. We fight to accomplish what we want and forfeit Godly ideals, goals, principles and what matters most in life.
Often we see people in restaurants supposedly having dinner together but, instead of talking with each other, they’re emailing and texting someone else. Sometimes not being present in the moment can be life-threatening, such as texting someone while driving.
When we live from the heart, we know God’s wisdom and diligently take title of our eternal treasures. And we look upon earthly things as not worthy of comparison to the eternal and we become content with nothing less than the eternal.
The heart guides our words and deeds and it’s the work of the head to processes this information. When the head and the heart are properly in sync, it leads to good choices. But if the head over-analyzes information or the heart over-emotionalizes information, this provides us with faulty data, creating decision-making problems.
Speaking on choice, Christ also says, in Matthew 6:24, “No one can serve two masters.” He says, “Either you will hate the one and love the other, or be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.”
A person can work for two masters but he or she cannot be devoted to but one. God requires our whole heart. And God will not share our hearts with the world, either, The Bible tells us our “God is a jealous God.” When two masters oppose each other, it’s clear no man can serve them both.
He who keeps up with the world and loves it, by default despises God. He who loves God must of necessity give up his love and friendship with the world.
When we fail to live in the moment, we are not living from the heart. We are either living in the past or living in the future, missing out on today’s blessings. Because our minds are somewhere else, we may be missing what somebody we love is sharing with us, like our children, our wife or our husband.
Many of us live as though we will never die, putting off until tomorrow the eternal things which should matter the most to us today. We should all live each day as if it is our last, doing what God wants us to do with the moment.
Joshua, in 24:15, in his farewell speech to his leaders, says, “But if serving the Lord seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve… But as for me and my household we will serve the Lord.”
Living from the heart is a matter of choice. You can choose today to live a healthier, happier, more purpose-fulfilled life, a life filled with meaning and success. This is a life you can be proud of, having then lived life to the fullest. Then you will have earned your place in heaven. Living from the heart is a matter of choice. Choose you then this day where you will spend your eternity.
The Rev. Dr. R. Joaquin Willis is pastor of the Church of the Open Door UCC in Miami’s Liberty City community. He may be reached at 305-759-0373 or firstname.lastname@example.org