Matthew 6:21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

Life is a balance of investments. We trade off between four basic areas each day, in every decision we make. Love, Time, Talent, and Money are being bartered in our effort to optimize this experience we call life.

Worldly design tells us to “go for the money”! Trade all love, time, and talent in pursuit of dollars. Build the bigger house, buy the nicer car, take the more lavish vacations. Invest all in pursuing what others will see and covet.

Divine design tells us “love is all that matters”! Use money, talents, time to amplify love. Focus on spouse, children, parents, neighbors, and strangers. Love your enemy. Do it all in secret and with pure motives. Give, with no thought to receiving.

Imagine a line extending between an endpoint on the left labeled “World” and an endpoint on the right labeled “Divine”. Our truth, what we will do, our focal point, lies somewhere along the line between the two extremes. As we move along this line, left to right, we become more personally invested.

When we consider Money, it’s almost purely of the world. It is very impersonal. The dollar bill I hold today will be in another hand tomorrow. To accumulate large wealth is not bad – to make it our focus is bad. To focus and sacrifice talent, time, and love (on the altar of life) to money shifts us away from the divine and toward the world. While we can trade love, talent, and time for money, we can’t trade money for talent, time, or love.

When we consider Talent, it’s more personal. No two people share the same talents. Though perhaps similar, each is unique. Talent is personal. Talent may be appreciated, but cannot be replicated. We trade talent for money, but no amount of money can buy talent. No amount of talent can be traded for time or love. When we trade talent for money, we are investing more personally than when we simply give money.

When we consider Time, this is even more personal. Time cannot be created. We each have a set amount each day. Giving time to someone or a cause means personal investment and other opportunities placed on hold. We trade time for money, we trade time to develop talent, but no amount of time can be traded for love.

When we consider Love, this is the most personal of all and is positioned on the divine end of our line. Love is completely unique. It is unlimited in capacity. You have only to look as far as the parent sacrificing all for the life of a child to understand this. Giving love means a purely personal investment. None of the other elements can be traded for love, but love is often cheapened in pursuit of the other elements. It is closest to divine.

Jesus warns us – value the most valuable most. Value love above all else. Fill the heart with love. Don’t trade the true gold of love in pursuit of trinkets and idols. In the end, Love will be the only treasure that follows us to heaven. All else will remain behind.