Treasuring Christ Above All Else
November 1, 2014
I absolutely love this time of the year, watching fall turn into winter. It is such a peaceful season. Even November (which one of my favorite fictional characters, Anne of Green Gables, named the ugliest month of the year) has something quite still and beautiful about it. And I have always enjoyed the holiday season with the white lights, candles, and pine wreaths. To me, these have been things that have brought joy and invoked gratitude to the Lord for creating beauty and giving us the ability to enjoy it. But in recent years, I have had to ask myself, “Would I enjoy this time of year just as much if I didn’t have all these beautiful decorations surrounding me? Are these things too important to me, or do they in any way distract me from my focus on Christ?”
During the Christmas season, shopping skyrockets. People are busy buying gifts and making lists of things they would like to have, whether on paper or in their minds. It is so very easy, especially in our western culture, to get caught up in the frenzy of materialism, whether it be finding the perfect gift, gracing our homes with the nicest decorations, or filling our closets with the cutest wardrobe. Now, don’t get me wrong—I love gift giving, tasteful décor, and classy clothes. But when that or anything else becomes the focus instead of Christ, it is ultimately of no eternal good.
Jesus says in Matthew 6:19-21:
Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where both 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.
What does it look like to lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven? It means seeking Christ and His kingdom first in everything. It means not being distracted by the shiny trinkets of this world. It means choosing to forgo some earthly pleasures in order to have an undivided heart for God. It will probably look a little different for each of us, but there will be a commonality between each person who chooses to treasure Christ above anything else.
Paul says in Philippians 3:8:
Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For His sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I might gain Christ.