(Photo source: Pexels)

(Photo source: Pexels)

For most of my life, I have lived under the impression that my actions will follow my heart—that the things I treasured most would be reflected by my investments. As the saying goes, “You can tell what’s important to someone by looking at their calendar and checkbook.”

While I think there is some truth in that statement, over the past few years of pursuing minimalism, I have begun to notice that the inverse is probably even more true.

I find that my heart appears naturally drawn to the places where I have invested most.

It is not necessarily that my actions follow the desires of my heart. Instead, I find that my heart appears naturally drawn to the places where I have invested most.

It is a subtle distinction, but an important one.

Jesus said it like this, “Where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” Notice in his phrasing, it is our heart that follows our treasure.

This principle was profoundly etched in my mind the day my family and I went grocery shopping and left the store to find a fresh, large, white scrape across the passenger side of our maroon minivan.

The minivan was far from new. Yet, there was an immediate pit that emerged in my stomach over the wrong that had been committed. The driver kindly left us with no insurance or contact information, just a large noticeable scrape down the side of our vehicle. The distress was strengthened by the fact that I knew too well I was too cheap to ever get it repaired. The unsightly scratch would likely remain over the course of the van’s life.

My wife and I drove away in silence.

I began to reflect on the scratch and more importantly, how the incident had impacted me internally.

I found it interesting to consider the fact that if this same scrape had been left on my bicycle, I would not have been nearly as upset. And I couldn’t help but wonder why that was the case. Why did the action cut so deep into my stomach and heart? Why was a white scrape on my minivan causing such a heart-level response?

Our hearts always follow our greatest investments. 

I realized I was so upset about this scrape because our vehicle was such a large investment. I had invested considerable money into buying it and time and energy caring for it. I wouldn’t mind if my son’s skateboard got a new scratch because… well, I didn’t have nearly as much treasure invested into it. But my vehicle was a huge investment (probably our second biggest) and because of that, my heart naturally gravitated toward it.

Where our treasures are, there our hearts will be also.

Our hearts always follow our greatest investments.

Whether it be our car, our house, our career, or our investment portfolio. We literally tie our hearts to certain things by the sheer amount of investment we put into them.

Unfortunately, too many of us are tying our hearts to the wrong things.

We are devoting our lives and tying our hearts to material possessions that will never last or bring us true joy. We shop for bigger houses, faster cars, trendier clothes and cooler technology. Subsequently, we invest so much of our time and energy into caring for them. But lasting fulfillment can never be tied to things that are temporal by nature.

Instead, we ought to invest our money, time, and lives into things that are truly important. Invest into your family, your friends, spiritual pursuits, or the causes that you believe in. As you do, you’ll notice your heart naturally begins to be drawn to them more and more.

The allure of materialism is hard to break.

As long as we live on earth surrounded by material possessions, keeping them in proper perspective is going to be a struggle. But we can begin to break its fascination in our lives by reminding ourselves that we are investing more than our dollars into them. We are tying our very hearts to them as well.

Invest your treasure into the things that matter most. Your heart will soon follow.

This post originally appeared on Storyline and was republished with permission.