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Treasure – Blog Carnival

Welcome to the One Word at a Time blog carnival.

This week’s word is: Treasure

You are welcome to join in either by writing or reading or both. If you write a post on the topic of treasure, please add your link to the little widget below so we can all find it!

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Thanks. Enjoy!

 

Fleeting Treasure

We’ve all heard the stories.. the woman who threw out her mother’s old mattress only to find it had been stuffed with a million dollars in cash

… or the old lady in England who had all of her life savings under her mattress – in old, out of date bills.

… or the guy who kept all of his life savings in a bag… which he accidentally left on the roof of his car and drove off.

… or the myriad other stories of people who store up their treasure at home or somewhere ‘safe’.

We’ve also all heard the stories of pirates fighting over treasure or burying it on deserted islands and drawing cryptic maps to its whereabouts – and who doesn’t love a good treasure hunt movie?

The idea of storing up treasure is one that appeals to most, if not all, of us on some level.

Money makes the world go round, or so the saying goes, and who doesn’t want to have a stash of money set aside for retirement or just for a ‘rainy day’?

I grapple with the concept of storing up money on an almost daily basis.

I cannot deny the wisdom of thinking ahead, of planning for the future, no matter how unknown that may be.

The word ‘stewardship’ is thrown around in the Christian world a lot as well. We’re encouraged to be good stewards of what we have – and I totally agree with the concept… except people often take it too far and hoard riches for themselves in the name of ‘stewardship’.

My mind is constantly drawn though to the many New Testament passages which refer to the concept of relying fully on God for your provision.

And this is where it gets murky.

The bible firmly suggests that we should earn our food, that the worker earns his wages etc so relying on God means doing something about it, too – but where does life insurance fit into all of this?

Is paying money into a life insurance policy every month to make sure my wife is provided for should I die before her actually relying on God?

By doing that, am I saying that IF I die before my wife, God will no longer be able to provide for her?

And what about retirement plans? They say you should have at least $1 MILLION dollars saved in a retirement plan to be able to comfortably retire… but that sounds, frankly, disgusting to me.

Is it really right to store up that amount of treasure so that we can stop working and just enjoy life for our last few decades here on earth?

I mean, seriously. If Jesus was to walk into your room right now and ask you about the starving, the homeless, the destitute, the sick and the needy in your area, what would you be able to tell him?

If Jesus was to show you a man who had just died of starvation yards away from your house, how impressed would he be that you have half a million dollars in a retirement plan that you can’t touch for another twenty years?

I really wonder if we, if I have got our priorities straight? Is our idea of stewardship, of being responsible and wise actually just an excuse to store up treasure for ourselves?

I really wonder…..

Post Info:
Written By: PeterP
On: April 4th, 2011
See More In: Carnival
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15 Responses to Treasure – Blog Carnival

  1. Deb wrote:

    Good thoughts… I think we can find every excuse in the world to store up our treasures on earth… family…kids… future… etc.

    I do think there needs to be a balance because good stewardship is NOT giving everything away to the poor and having nothing left to provide for your future and family.

    However, we need to do away with the excuses, get a little uncomfortable every now and then and see how our big God provides for and blesses us when we share a little of the treasure He gave us in the first place. :)

    Thanks for a great post.

  2. Jennie wrote:

    Wow, great post, Pete.
    Yes, I struggle with this, too. I really want to be a generous person – extravagantly generous preferably, but at the same time, I look at the economy and worry about money in the future.
    I know it’s ridiculous, and part of the reason I worry is that I was a missionary for a few years, and have almost no pension savings from that chunk of my life. So am I saying that BECAUSE I obeyed God’s call on my life, I now can’t trust him to provide for my future? How crazy would that be?!

  3. Glynn wrote:

    Stewardship, I think, includes knowing when to use the resources we’re given – and resources aren’t meant to be buried in a hole in the ground. Good post, Peter.

  4. Frank wrote:

    Just based on the titles so far, it looks like this will be a common theme. Should be a good discussion! You bring up some scary points. The parable of the rich fool cannot be more explicit. Yes, it may be “wise” (in the ways of the world) to prepare for the future, but the future is not guaranteed. Some denominations consider insurance a sin. Maybe they’re on to something. But sadly I don’t have the faith to not store up for myself (though I don’t do a very good job of it). Hmmm, sound like a good idea for a post: life insurance. Thanks, Peter!

  5. Helen wrote:

    Three words : charitable gift annuity. The organization invests more or less as a bank would, with you getting some interest, but the bulk of invested income going to help various needs.
    Yes, it is important that this be an organization you trust to both provide the income at your retirement and not consider lap dances (or Cayman Island vacations) for he and his friends worthy charitable investments.

  6. Lisa notes... wrote:

    I wrestle with these same issues, Peter. I join you in the wondering…

  7. Cris Ferreira wrote:

    Peter, that reminds me when, some years ago, Argentina’s president decided to quit paying the country’s international debt. Everyone was surprised to find out that a lot of european workers had their whole retirement plans on Argentina’s debt papers, so all of a sudden they were worth nothing, and they lost all the money they had been saving during their whole life.
    We can plan as much as we want, but suddenly something that is completely out of our control can make all our earthly treasure disappear.
    We have to trust in God, and do as He commands, for He will make sure that we have everything we need (need, not want). And He will use us to provide for others in need.
    Great post, Peter.

  8. Thanks Peter, We do a lot of things that when we scratch the surface is self-seeking, at least I know I do. Nice post.

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  10. I sometimes joke with my husband that he’s building up a retirement plan is through his employer. (It’s not a savings account we have any access to.) But I’m building up a retirement plan through our children. I feel more secure about God providing for me in my old age through my children than through the government. Either way, I look to God for my provision.

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  12. Hazel I. Moon wrote:

    My thoughts go to the kids who placed a purse on the much traveled path, and they had an invisible string attached to it. As the passersby would reach down to take the purse, they would quickly jerk it away and laugh heartily. Some of our earthly treasure is like that purse. It would be wise to invest in heavenly treasure as well as pension funds!

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