Many of us who have indulged in Hollywood movies know of the Indiana Jones series of movies in which you have an archaeologist risking his life to find hidden treasures. Of course, the treasures are rare, and worth fortunes, enough to motivate this infamous scientist to leave the comforts of his secure life to locate and retrieve treasures that have been forgotten or unknown by most of the world.
Jesus said, “where your treasure is, there your heart will be also” (Matthew 6:21). When there is something of value in our life, we tend to cling to it with an emotional attachment, that if interrupted, can cause conflict leading to an emotional reaction that is uncharacteristic of who we are, or who we desire to be as a person. Such reactions usually come in the form of anger or wrath towards another person when our treasure is being threatened or withheld from us.
Probably, the treasure that is most common among us is the treasure of “self”. Even when we say that a significant other is more important than even ourself, it is usually because of the value that is provided by that significant other to “self”. If there is a hindrance to that value, usually anger, anxiety, sadness, or depression results. These are all common emotions that most of us rather not experience because they are considered negative emotions; but these are good emotions just like happiness, joy, excitement, and other emotions that we prefer. They are mere signals to let us know about what is happening inside our mind. This is similar to a car having gauges and lights to reveal necessary information about the functioning of unseen components.
The emotion of anger is an emotion that perhaps all of us have experienced at some point in our life. Although we probably have forgotten, perhaps the first display of anger was when we were infants, and into the early childhood years. If we are honest, we can acknowledge anger as a way of protecting ourselves from some perceived danger by taking control of the situation. It is usually the alternative to fear and fleeing the danger. It is the fight or flight reaction to a threatening situation in order to protect “self” or something of value to “self”.
Therefore, what we treasure can determine how we handle uncomfortable situations in our life. There are many treasures, some can be as small as a piece of candy, or it could be something of great monetary value. In either case, it is usually linked to how it influences our core values, or how it makes us feel. This is how God created us, but we are to be careful about what is most valuable to us. Values are important but if we value things more than people, and if we value people more than the God who gives them life, it will eventually cause conflict, usually anger will be among the emotions that surface.
“Get your priorities straight”. You have probably said this to someone or it has been said to you. This command is one that ought to be given more attention. If you are raising teenagers, you probably know the feeling of being less valued than the gifts and provisions you have made for them. However, as adults, we too have to pay attention to where our most valued treasures are located. Do we treasure the blessings more than the One who gave the blessing? If so, we have to rearrange our values, so that we will have lasting treasure.
So, how is this done? Because God is the giver of all good things, we should acknowledge Him the most valuable treasure of all. Going to church to learn of Him, listening to sound teachers of the Bible, and reading the Bible yourself are ways to locate the greatest treasure. Some of us already do all of these things and still get frustrated. In this case, perhaps just taking the time to inhale and breath the air provided; acknowledging the surroundings and the body we live in can help the process of getting priorities in the right order so the greatest treasures can be found and enjoyed. It’s a constant work, and sometimes difficult and scary, but as demonstrated by Indiana Jones, it is worth pursuing.