My son is working on a contract in Russia. He phoned us last week to tell us that, because of tightening of restrictions and legislation, his bank can no longer transfer money into his South African bank account. It reminded me of a time when I was a student at Rhodes. An engineering students organisation arranged exchange working trips to Germany for two months. The only time I met the other international students in our group was during an organised tour in Berlin for a couple of days.
One of the trips organised was to East Berlin. In those days East Germany was a communist country and we had heard stories about people being shot while trying to escape. We all went through Checkpoint Charlie with some apprehension. We had to exchange a certain number of West German Marks for East German Marks and we were not allowed to exchange any money in the opposite direction. It was a matter of having to spend everything in East Berlin. You couldn’t take it out with you.
Jesus said, “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also” (Matt 6:19-21)
I battle with this command because it is not specific. What is the currency of heaven? How do I lay up treasures? Is it by doing good deeds? Improving the life of others? Building strong relationships? Loving God above all else? I would welcome other people’s input.
Bottom line is clear. I am not to set my heart on money. I can, after all, not serve two masters. I can’t take it with me, unlike Charles Obang who tried.