Matthew 6:21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. (NIV)
I met up with a dear friend recently and she got promoted recently and work has been hectic. She seems fulfilled, but I saw something deeper and I asked her – “What are you after?”
That is also a question for myself.
I recall another dear friend who cautioned me that I have perhaps at most another 1 or 2 decades of productive work before retirement, and I should be planning for my retirement by making sure I have enough. And then I realized, money is something that I have never been after. Not that I don’t like money, but I always remember the scripture teachings on “giving Caesar what is Caesar’s” and “you cannot serve two masters”. So I am happy with having enough, and in a way, complacent and thereby not accumulating more.
It’s been almost 3 years since I got baptized and it has been an amazing journey thus far. I struggled with trying to match Jesus’ standards of sins and find myself impossible to reach those standards (to lay eyes on a beautiful women is to have committed adultery?! Alas, I am committing adultery every second!).
Then I discovered God’s grace and mercy and understood God never intended me to be perfect overnight. And I move on to the next stage of trying to reconcile my sinful nature with striving to be holy. I wonder how it is that I fell, I go for confession, and I fell again – so what’s the point having to go for confession? And then I got reminded of God’s love, that Jesus loves the sinner, which is me.
And then now, this question struck me – “What am I after?”
Am I after money, status or recognition? Is my acting an inner need for fame? Am I so proud that I cannot recognize that I am in need, and that I am a sinner?
And then it struck me – I will fail, because I am a sinner. But God looks at my heart and asks – am I after His Kingdom? Am I a practicing pilgrim on earth, striving to be holier each day? Am I loving my neighbour, as He has loved me?
I now understand that the Saints became Saints by battling the devil each day – some days they might fail, and on mostly others, they win, with the grace and mercy of our Lord and God. And it is not 100% that we are striving; it’s about at the end of the day, we win most of the time.
Having understood this, I can only give thanks to God’s immense love for me.
There are still days that I cannot comprehend how I can be such a hypocrite; on the one hand, I say I love God and in the next moment I am sinning against Him. There are still days I beat myself up for not being able to reach Jesus’ standards. There are still days when I feel like giving up on myself for being such an underserving sinner.
But God quietly whispers into my heart – What are you after?
For where your treasure is, there your heart will also be.
And I pray to our God and our Lord, that by His Grace and Mercy, my heart will always be facing towards His Kingdom. Amen!
Back to my friend who, besides work, is struggling to accept a relationship where the man is several years younger. I thought I saw in her that her pride is her obstacle. But I reminded myself : who am I to judge? As a dear friend, I know I can share and reflect together with her, but only she herself can find the way. I pray to God that He too can ask my friend the question – What are you after?
And to all my fellow brothers and sisters in Christ reading this – What are you after?