Sermon on the Mount
Gospel of Matthew 6:21
The Frustrated CFO's Commentary:
I overheard someone recapping an episode of The Good Wife, in which a lawyer in court used the reference to Matthew 6:21 with an implication that the monetary treatment (treasure) determines one's true position on a particular issue (heart). For example, the federal government can drop hints here and there in favor of same-sex marriages, but unless social security survivor benefits will be granted to ALL spouses, not just heterosexuals, it's just an unsubstantiated liberal talk.
I totally agree with the notion that governments and people must prove their views through actions and not just declamations. Casual speeches make the orators feel better about themselves, but do little for the implementation of actual changes. However, I am a stickler for accuracy and the gross misunderstanding of the quote irks me.
Whether you are a religious person or a hardcore atheist, you cannot deny that, at the very least, the Bible is an impressive anthology of collective wisdom. That's why it's called the Book of Books. I myself never studied the New Testament in detail, but Matthew 6:21 is a popular metaphor in financial literature. So, I've looked into it. What I learned was that, taken out of context, this statement was frequently misused and misinterpreted.
It doesn't mean that the heart follows the money, or, that allocation of money indicates your heart's allegiance. The true meaning of this quote lies in the nature of the treasure itself. A person uses his free will to decide what his true treasure is, and it could be wealth, or popularity, or creative aspirations, or spiritual clarity, or a struggle to change the world. But, how you define your treasure determines the location of your heart - bound to your purse, or drowned in vanity, or paralyzed by self-pity, or soaring toward unimaginable heights.