A Reflection on Matthew 6:1-19
What motivates you? What gets you moving? What is your deepest desire? What do you treasure?
These are serious questions. If we don’t know what we want there is very little chance we can receive it, achieve it, or find it.
Perhaps the question at the heart of this part of the Sermon on the Mount is “What is your deepest desire?” This make sense if we notice that seven times in today’s reading Jesus talks about our being rewarded. If we are to be rewarded by God, it probably has something to do with our deepest desires!
In the sayings surrounding the Lord’s Prayer, Jesus offers suggested behaviors that are the first clues we have regarding his hopes for our deepest desires. Jesus compares and contrasts two different kinds of attitudes or ways of being in the world. The first is self-centered, the second is selfless or God-centered.
His stories lead me to ask myself, “What would my life look like if it was completely God centered? What if my greatest desire was to live a God-centered life?” Now, that is an interesting set of questions! What would it mean to completely put God first in my life? I think it means I would have to start making a long list of the ways that I live self-centered and consider how I could move each item on the list to God-centered.
The second clue we have about what Jesus desires for us to choose as our own deepest desire is the prayer he teaches us to pray.
God’s will done on earth and in my life as it is in the realm of God. That is God-centered living!
Enough for today and no more. Humbly trusting in my relationship with God, and leaving plenty on the table for others. That is also God-centered.
Asking God to forgive us, after we have already forgiven others. How could we possibly do that if we were not centering our lives completely upon God?
Do not bring us to a time of trial – trials may come, but we know they are not given by God. That is God-centered, and God-trusting.
Rescue us! Life is hard God! We can’t survive unless it is lived with you. Always keep us in your presence! That is truly a God-centered perspective.
This chapter in the sermon seems to conclude with:
“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust consume and where thieves break in and steal; but store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust consumes and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also (vs.19 NRSV).”
What is my treasure? Each of us needs to answer that question for ourselves. I am fairly certain Jesus would say that his treasure was found in an intimate relationship with God that was completely God-centered.
May you define and then give your life to finding your greatest desire, your greatest treasure.