From Randy Alcorn’s book the Treasure Principle he writes,
A Treasure Mentality
Jesus doesn’t just tell us where not to our treasures. He also gives us the best investment advice you will ever hear, “Store up for yourselves treasures in heaven” – Matthew 6:20
If you stopped reading too soon, you would have thought Christ was against our storing up treasure for ourselves.
He is all for it!
In fact, He commands it. Jesus has a treasure mentality. He wants us to store up treasure. He is just telling us to stop storing them in the wrong place and start storing them up in the right place!
Again He said, “Store up for yourselves”.
Doesn’t it seem strange that Jesus commands us to what’s in our own best interest?
Wouldn’t that be selfish?
God expects and commands us to act out of enlightened self-interest. He wants us to live to His glory, but what is to His glory is always to our good (our long term good as God’s essence is love). As John Piper puts it, “God is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied in Him”.
Selfishness is when we pursue gain at the expense of others. But God doesn’t have a limited number of treasures to distribute. When you store up treasures for yourself in heaven, it doesn’t reduce the treasures available to others. In fact, it is by serving God and others we store up heavenly treasure. Everyone gains; no one loses.
Jesus is talking about deferred gratification.
Deferred gratification is rather high up on the investment acumen. It takes a higher level of cognitive thinking to practice this. The most successful people get it. God designed the system, not the worldly one but His best one, in that givers gain most. He is the ultimate example of this. When we do well, He does well because it is He who gave it all.