Don’t Save Bad Treasure - Glasshouse Christian College

Don’t Save Bad Treasure

  • May 23, 2024

Don’t Save Bad Treasure

In the last two years, I have found the topic of money comes up more frequently in my social circles. People are feeling the pinch as their dollars buy less than they once did and housing prices skyrocket. Dual incomes are becoming essential for meeting a family’s basic needs: one income pays the mortgage while the other covers groceries and utility bills. Still, few families have the privilege of a double income. Global money printing is a runaway train causing people’s savings across the world to inflate away rapidly. If we feel the pain here in Australia, we know it’s ten times worse in developing countries. A friend from church recently shared how his grandparents from Egypt lost the value of their savings over a week as their economy went through hyperinflation.

The tragedy of money printing is that you and I must work for the same money that governments can print for nothing. Money printing is not value creation, as if the government had God’s power to speak money into existence; it is a form of theft from working people. 

God hates dishonest scales (Proverbs 11:1). And a good man leaves an inheritance for his children’s children (Proverbs 13:22). But dishonest scales are robbing us of our ability to save for our family’s future. I don’t believe that God will allow this injustice to continue forever. But we will likely feel more short-term pain in the future as the economy suffers due to several decades of poor government stewardship. I’m specifically referring to the 92 years since Australia left the gold standard as our currency has been devaluing since. 

Jesus offers some very sound economic advice: Don’t save bad treasure. 

‘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.’
Matthew 6:19-21

Dollars are bad treasure with theft built into the system using inflation. And physical gold is a seriously underperforming inflation hedge. The stock market is only as strong as the monetary system it is built upon. And housing has its problems when prices blow out of proportion to their utility value as homes. 

When we lose our ability to save value over time people develop a high time preference where they place greater value on what their money can buy in the short term instead of the long term. This is not good for an enduring economy. A low time preference individual places a higher value on the future value of their money and is more incentivised to save for greater future rewards.

The savings Jesus advocates for are heavenly ones. And therefore these heavenly treasures require us to lower our time preference significantly, even beyond death, in order to see the remarkable value available to us. When we picture our lives in the context of eternity, it’s possible to find joy in our present suffering knowing that our short-term pain does not compare to our future glory (Romans 8:18) with Jesus as King, ruling over the New Heaven and New Earth (Revelation 21). With Jesus as King, our riches will be immeasurable by any standard of wealth we understand today. 

Often, the most spiritually rich people I have met are the ones with the least physical wealth (Matthew 19:24). Their joy comes from their faith in Jesus who gives them future hope beyond anything money can promise. 

Money comes and goes due to factors outside our control. If you are grinding to keep ahead in our suffering economy, look to the treasure Jesus offers as a superior alternative. He will give you hope and a future (Jeremiah 29:11). If you want to leave a valuable inheritance to your family, contribute what you have toward the spiritual well-being of your children. They will benefit from what you pass down as will their children’s children. 

As I look at my family tree, I can trace stories of riches and poverty from generation to generation. Yet remarkably, I am the seventh consecutive generation of Christian in my family. The knowledge of the hope found in Jesus is the treasure that has stayed in my family as an investment that does not devalue.

Here is some final advice for protecting wealth:

Buy —- and do not sell — truth, wisdom, instruction, and understanding.’
Proverbs 23:23

Nathan Wilson, Primary College Pastor

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