Over the weekend, I did a good, ‘ol closet clean-out. I always have mixed emotions through this process. It feels good to declutter and have less stuff, but those feelings often intertwine with guilt as I look at the piles labeled, “Goodwill,” “Plato’s Closet,” or “Trash.” I thought to myself, “How much did I spend over time on that pile?” Some of those things were purchased in times of need and served their purpose well through many wears, but some were purchased in times of want, in times of “retail therapy.” Some of those items may have been worn only once or twice, and here I was, getting rid of them for little to no return. The “comfort” or “confidence” they gave me was so temporary. The return on my investment… so little.
Yesterday I read in Matthew 13 about the parables of the hidden treasure and the pearl. What these two parables essentially teach is that the kingdom of God is of such great value that one should be willing to give up all they have in order to gain it. If you were in a situation where you truly had to give up EVERYTHING in order to be with Jesus, could you do it? I think about the people I love, physical safety, financial security… how difficult that would be. Yet, sometimes I struggle with not budgeting more money to giving, because I want to be able to buy something cute that will make me feel good for one day. Oof.
May we all be reminded that when we invest in the kingdom, there is no guilt, no buyer’s remorse, no warranty needed. The return on our investment is ETERNAL. When I take time to think about it, rather than react to my impulsive feelings, I like investing my time, energy, and resources there a lot better. By abandoning our agendas and worldly desires, the things we “lose” are temporary, but what we gain is ETERNAL.