Lent series

I want to be a Billionaire: Life of moderation and laying up our treasure in heaven

Bruno Mars sings an interesting and catchy song called “Billionaire”, where he expresses his very deep wish of being a billionaire saying, “I want to be a billionaire so freaking bad.” Bruno sings that he wants to have things he never had before, and he also wants to make the world a better place by adopting babies, providing aid to world’s disaster areas, etc. The desire to be rich to do charitable work is a bit unusual to Christians. From history and the stories of the ascetic fathers, those who were rich sold what they had, gave to the poor and went to the desert. Those who were not rich, went to the desert and created small handiwork, sold it and gave to the poor. One concern with this song is the deep desire to be very rich because the scriptures warn us, “those who desire to be rich fall into temptation and a snare…” (NKJV, 1 Tim 6:8).
Looking into this week’s gospel, we are called not to lay up treasures on earth but in heaven (Mat 6:19-33). There is almost a small gate which we ought to go through carefully, on one side of the gate is giving and laying up a treasure in heaven and the other side is worrying in case we do not have enough.  
Our eyes are our window to the world and its desires. Our eyes wander around desiring that which we do not need but as we look at them long enough we begin to want them, then need them and lastly consider them a necessity. We then turn and worship it. We worship that which we hold near and dear to our hearts. We worship that which we think of, dream of, and wake up still occupied by it.  
Aiding our little faith, the Lord sets the birds before our eyes, and how He cares for them and for the whole creation. He helps us with what is visible so we believe in His providential care towards us, if He cares for the small creatures, He will give us what we need. The most comforting fact is in the Lord’s words, “your heavenly Father.” The assurance comes from His Fatherhood, not from the fact that He will provide to us, “He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things?” (NKJV, Romans 8:32). He assures us and gives us comfort that we are not to worry about what to eat, drink or wear, and the necessities of our lives.
As we live in a materialistic society, we face difficulty applying this part of the scriptures, we find it challenging to store our treasure in heaven, and we find it easy to worry.  We do not know what is enough to give, donate and save. The Lord knows that this life we live requires certain necessities and He will provide it to us but we ought to seek first His kingdom. What usually happens is that we get caught up on life’s necessities and we forget heaven, or we think of heaven but we do not take actions towards it. 
Moving away from Bruno Mars’ “Billionaire”, moderation and growth are two words we should

contemplate on to help us live this scripture reading. We should live a moderate life in our attire, food and drink consumption. How do we define moderation? Moderation is one of those words which could be difficult to put into practice because what I consider moderate might be lavish for others and vice versa. A moderate life is encircled by that which is helpful, edifies, and free of bondage (1 Cor 6:12, 1 Cor 10:23). We simply should do that which is helpful to us and to others spiritually, that which edifies us and others and we should not become under the bondage of anything. The Son of God set us free from the bondage of Satan and the world. However, we manage to bring ourselves back to the slavery of the world and implicitly to its Prince. We should not be enslaved to our image, money, gadgets, bodily passions, cars, investments, sports abilities, social media, etc. We must grow in our desire for heaven. We should grow in our charitable deeds, prayers, fasting, etc.

Final thought, between last week’s (Mat 6:1-18) and this week’s gospel (Mat 6:19-33) is the path to our salvation. 

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