Where is Your Heart?

Where is your heart?

I am reading a book called "Lost In The Middle" by Paul Tripp and this question has been raised several times "Where is your heart?" It has caused me to re-examine much of what I do and why I do it.

Where our heart is, there also is our treasure.

Our motivations are derived from the things that we treasure or on which we place great value. Have you ever asked yourself "What motivates me in my: work, marriage, friendships, parenting, finances, health, or spiritual areas of my life?

We tend not to ask such questions but just roll along pursuing those things we treasure without looking at their long term value. Or, if we do identify that we need to change in an area, do we mitigate our guilt or uncomfortableness by equating acknowledgment of the problem as actual change? ("There, I admit I have a problem. OK,that's solved.")

These questions need to be asked because what we treasure can either lead to blessing or lead to pain, misery or loneliness.

There are typically two types of attitudes that characterize each area of a person's life: 1) life is about me and making me happy or 2) life is about others and my relationship to them.


Here are some examples of how these attitudes are played out.

1) Finances - Do you complain about not having enough or do you look for ways to benefit others with what you have? (It is interesting to note that the middle class and poor give far more in proportion to their income than do the wealthy. The more we have, the more we tend to protect it.)

Or, do you spend everything you have and get yourself into debt because you can't wait but have to have something now?

2) Family - Do you come home from work and expect others to serve you or not bother you? Or, do you come home and are concerned how your spouse's or children's day went and then talk with them. Do you primarily encourage your spouse and kids or are you critical?

3) Leisure - Do you view leisure as an end in itself - you need leisure for it is your right? Or, do you view leisure as a way to rejuvenate yourself so you can continue to fulfill your responsibilities.

4) Relationships - Do you look at others in view of what they can do for you? Or, do you look at relationships as give and take - you support them, they support you? Do you not do what you know you should do because it makes you uncomfortable? Do you now you need to change an attitude or habit but don't because it requires effort? Do you justify your actions by saying "Well, that's just the way I am?"

5) Health - Do your eating habits reflect that you are concerned about your health? Do you exercise? Typically, if we are only concerned about ourselves, we are not concerned about eating healthfully or exercising.

Or, has exercising, health, cosmetics, etc. become an end in itself where you are so concerned about how you look that your looks take priority over other areas or people?

6) Career - Are you struggling in your career because you are not willing to put forth the effort or take the necessary risk? Do you need to change an attitude or behavior at work? Do you need to learn something new or get our of your comfort zone? Are you working to win or working to prevent a loss? (Winning is looking forward; preventing a loss is looking behind you.)

7) Spiritual and ethical - Are there attitudes that you need to change? Do you have any absolutes or is everything relative (to you that is)? Do you attend church only when it is convenient? Do you lead your family in this area or leave it up to your spouse? Do you practice what your preach in front of your kids, your spouse or co-workers? Is your word reliable? Can people count on you?

If any of these areas of your life is primarily focused on making you happy, be careful; you are headed for disappointment or a shipwreck.

Faith

Matthew 6:19-21
Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

Matthew 6:25-34
Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?

"And why do you worry about clothes? See how the lilies of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? So do not worry, saying, 'What shall we eat?' or 'What shall we drink?' or 'What shall we wear?' For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.

Jesus encourages/instructs us to set our hearts on things above and to be focused on his kingdom and righteousness. This is the opposite of being focused on self.
 

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