There’s difference between collecting and hoarding. I don’t know what it is, but there is a difference, right? At least, collecting sounds more refined. Wouldn’t you rather have your daughter introduce her boyfriend as a collector than as a hoarder?

The difference is all in the eyes of the beholder. For example, do you see a bunch of rocks or a fine collection of minerals?

We all have things we collect. For those of you who say you don’t collect things, what would your wife say? Hmm?

I’m not immune to the collecting bug. In high school, my father traveled a lot, and I built up a nice collection of “motion discomfort” bags from all the airlines. (I took my lunch to school in one.) Apparently, I’m not the only one because years later I sold the whole lot of them to a guy on eBay. I also have license plates from every state I’ve traveled to (49), and my record collection is approaching 1500 albums. 

Hey, those are legit collections—unlike people who collect napkins …

… old rodent traps …

… traffic cones …

… hot sauce …

… or erasers.

Most of you probably rolled your eyes at these collections (I did), but a few of you thought, “Hey, that’s cool.” But there is one thing all these collections share in common. They have no real value except to the collector. When the collector dies, who will want or value the collection? Most relatives will groan at the burden of unloading thousands of unwanted erasers.

However, we can keep our collections if we’re collecting and treasuring the right things. Jesus said,

“Don’t store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves don’t break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also” (Matt. 6:19-21).

Jesus didn’t specify what those treasures are, but I think we can make a pretty safe assumption we won’t need traffic cones in heaven. Consider treasuring godly character … acts of forgiveness … relationships … those you introduce to Jesus. Let your treasure be your faith … your hope … your love in Christ. 

“Now these three remain: faith, hope, and love ​— ​but the greatest of these is love” (1 Cor. 13:13).

Collect those things that have eternal value. Spending eternity with those I prayed for, discipled, and invested in beats any collection on earth—no matter how rare or unique.

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