Spiritual Cardiology Exam

source: trcpella.com
source: trcpella.com

They are being tested by many troubles, and they are very poor. But they are also filled with abundant joy, which has overflowed in rich generosity. 2 Corinthians 8:2 (NLT)

Our local church began a series of messages yesterday on treasure. We’re not talking the Jack Sparrow, Black Pearl kind of treasure, mind you. The premise of the series comes from one of Jesus’ teachings:

“Don’t store up treasures here on earth, where moths eat them and rust destroys them, and where thieves break in and steal. Store your treasures in heaven, where moths and rust cannot destroy, and thieves do not break in and steal. Wherever your treasure is, there the desires of your heart will also be.”

In yesterday’s overview, the teacher explained his premise that our culture has placed its treasure in three basic things: money, sex, and technology. In the weeks ahead we’re going to explore how these three things affect our heart on a day-by-day basis.

I found this morning’s chapter dove-tailing with the message I heard yesterday and the conversation Wendy and I began on the way home. I love Paul’s description of some of the believers in Greek communities, that while very poor they had abundant joy which overflowed into being sacrificially generous with what little they had. I observe that the heart attitude determined their willingness to give up what little material possession they had for the benefit of others.

On this Monday morning I wake with head spinning from the long week ahead. My mind is already wrestling with a long list of priorities and seemingly little time to accomplish all that is on my plate. I am undergoing spiritual cardiology examination in the pre-dawn hours as God’s still small voice whispers pesky questions in my soul. Where is my treasure? What do I say I value? What do my words, thoughts, actions, acquisitions, task-lists, and priorities prove that I value?

4 thoughts on “Spiritual Cardiology Exam”

  1. My travels in Latin America have taken me from Mexico to Tierra del Fuego and many points in-between and I currently reside in a small country in South America. Gut-wrenching poverty is the norm in most of the places I’ve been to. However, most of the people I’ve met, including my wife’s family, are:
    1) extremely generous with what little they have, especially as concerns strangers
    2) extremely happy
    3) not at all materialistic or into technology (that’s slowly changing with the younger generation)
    4) very kind, loving, gentle and forgiving.

    Looks like Christianity on the hoof. Yet most of these people are not church-going folk. True, they do like their cervezas and the occasional fiesta. But when you get right down to a cursory comparison with life up North, the question arises: who actually has the greater treasures?

    Yet not all is perfect here. I do believe that while most folks are faith-filled here, they could do with a little more “guidance and instruction”. Yet they do seem to live out their faith more so here as compared to the industrialized nations of the world.

    Just some observations based on personal experiences.

    1. Thanks for the thoughts and insights, Don. Your personal journey has obviously taken you on paths that I imagine few readers of my posts have experienced. Extremely important contribution to the conversation!

  2. Interesting… I am speaking Thursday at our local Inter Varsity chapter on campus. I will be challenging them with the life and mostly fall of King Solomon. In 1 Kings 11 it says that “his heart was not fully devoted to the Lord”. What caused that? Money, women, fame and power. Except for technology, things are not much different today…

    1. Great connection, Kyle. You’re right. As Solomon himself penned, “there’s nothing new under the sun.” I contend that even our exploding technology is merely a contemporary version of the ancient Tower of Babel. But, that’s another conversation altogether. All the best on your talk Thursday. Let me know how it goes!

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