There’s a saying that goes like this: don’t be so heavenly-minded that you’re no earthly use’. It’s usually said to someone who seems more ‘religious’ than practical. They’re never available for helping others, but always thinking about ‘pious’ things. I admit some are only day-dreaming, as if they’re thinking about heaven! But anyway, for a while I’ve been meditating on this and trying to draw some conclusions for myself as a Christian. Maybe you can help me?
Do Christians really use heaven as an excuse to ignore the everyday world? Are others turned off our faith because they perceive us that way? Do people see me like that? I certainly hope not.
I actually think we should be more heavenly-minded so we’re more earthly use! There’s another saying: you can’t take it with you, referring to things that we won’t have forever: money, possessions, our own precious time, or even this present life! The most worthy things are the opposite of these. We need to find out what our valuables are now, and use them while we can. What criteria should we set? How about adjectives like timeless, imperishable, durable or…heavenly? They won’t fade away with use…now, or later.
Jesus said not to store our treasures where moths, vermin, and thieves can access them. Instead, wise people send them on ahead as deposits in heaven’s bank. What are these treasures? They’re easy to find. They’re the things that God values. He’s let us see into his realm. He took the apostle Paul on a visit to heaven, where he heard things he couldn’t bear to repeat; so wonderful that he wanted to go there again!
And Jesus’ disciple, John, saw astounding events and heard memorable truths in the vision that he recorded for us to read in our Bibles. Neither Paul nor John were in a hurry to leave this life if there were any way that God could still use them here. But what did they value? John didn’t value his life. He suffered for those he loved. And Paul wrote about ‘the abiding things’: faith, hope and love. They’re eternal virtues. Not just heavenly, but the everlasting blessings we need to use right now! If we share God’s love, give hope to the hopeless, and inspire faith so other people can also have something to send on ahead, that will be worthwhile in eternity.
I don’t have much in the way of earthly treasures, but I sometimes compare myself to Mother Teresa and others I’ve heard about who loved as Jesus loved. At times I find myself lacking! If I never bother to send anything on to heaven, I’ll never go there! God’s made it easy to learn about his love, his way of doing things, and how he wants me to apply them in the world where he’s placed me. Not only should I find out about them, I should give them away – not to get a large balance in heaven’s bank, but to be of more earthly use!
I know I’m not here for nothing. God has a great destiny for everyone in the world, and he wants to include me in making that happen. How foolish if I were to pass up the opportunity to give away my best treasures just so I could keep those that won’t last!
I already have God’s love for myself, but it’s not a finite commodity. There’s plenty to go around! God isn’t so heavenly-minded that he’s no earthly use! His storehouse is full! And he’ll never run out of the treasures that he wants us to share.