Remembering that scriptures can be understood and appreciated on many different levels, I thought this was an interesting and helpful perspective of Matthew 6:19-21.
Dr. K.C. Pillai, a Hindu convert to Christianity, was a Bishop at large of the Indian Orthodox Church in Madras, India. When he came to the United States many years ago, his mission was to acquaint Christians with the Orientalisms of the Bible, or as he referred to it, "to give light through an eastern window."
Matthew 6: 19-21
Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.
"The western interpretation of this scripture is that the treasure refers to money which is laid up in the world. Therefore, it is not security at all because moth and rust corrupt it, and thieves may steal it. On the other hand, money and labor given to the church, or some other worthy cause, is treasure stored in heaven. But as in all cases where symbols and figures of speech are used, the proper understanding of the scripture must come from its spiritual meaning. Christ was not referring to money. The "treasure" mentioned here simply means our thoughts. In fact, there are several symbols used in this passage. Let me explain them.
"Heaven" speaks of the realm of the Spirit. "Earth" is the realm of matter, which is material things. The "moth" is fear that eats away our thoughts. "Rust" is worry that corrodes and destroys godly, positive thoughts, and "corrupt" means to breed. In the light of Oriental philosophy then, these scriptures should read as follows: "Let not your thoughts be centered in material things where fears and worries breed defeat and frustration, and where the doubts break through and steal your thoughts. But let your thoughts be centered in the Spirit, where neither fear nor worry breeds defeat and frustration, and where doubts do not break through and steal your thoughts. For where your thoughts are, there will your heart be also".
If our thoughts are centered in material things, our lives will surely be plagued with defeat, frustration, and despair. The reason for this is that the things we see are not really dependable. We watch them come and go. And the things we think are real substance vanish before our eyes. Everything we know through our five senses is in a state of change and decay. But when our thoughts are on God, there are no fears, no worries, defeats, or frustrations. We are not staking our lives on that which changes, but on Him who changes not. Since there is no means of communication between the Spirit and the things of the earth, there can , therefore, be no satisfaction in them. But God, who is Spirit, can speak to the spirit within us. The oneness of Himself with our spirit enables us to be satisfied through fellowship with Him. Man's life does not consist in the abundance of the things he possesses. Man cannot live by bread alone. To flourish, he must rather live by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God."