As long-term investment tips go, Jesus’ advice in Matthew 6:19–21 is the gold standard against which all others are measured.
“Don’t store up treasures here on earth, where moths eat them and rust destroys them, and where thieves break in and steal. Store your treasures in heaven, where moths and rust cannot destroy, and thieves do not break in and steal. Wherever your treasure is, there the desires of your heart will also be.”
His point is twofold. First, there’s no such thing as a secure earthly investment. Any possession—or passion—can be taken away through human misdeeds or natural occurrence. Those that aren’t taken away tend to lose their luster (or depreciate) over time.
Second, even if an earthly investment could be secured, pouring resources into it still would make little sense in the long term. Such an investment would yield sixty to seventy years of returns at most. An investment in God’s heavenly kingdom, on the other hand, has no limits on its yield. It will pay dividends forever.
To store your treasures in heaven is to
• build a portfolio of God-honoring work;
• invest in the lives of others, especially those in need;
• pour your resources—money, time, and talents—into things that benefit God’s kingdom;
• divest yourself of the greedy impulses that tempt you to pursue immediate gratification.
The fruitlessness of pursuing wealth and acquiring possessions is often summarized in a single phrase: “You can’t take it with you.” But Jesus says you can take it with you, if you invest your resources according to his strategy.
-- I served as editor for THE BIBLE: WHY IT MATTERS TODAY which is published by Time Inc Books. This blog post was adapted from that title. This special edition magazine is published in the US and available wherever magazines are sold.