responding to two other students’ threads on the topic of selfishness and consumer behavior, using Scripture references and scholarly sources. This assignment prompts students to consider the concept of “treasure in heaven” as discussed in the Bible and how it relates to modern values and the potential for a different kind of economy.

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responding to two other students’ threads on the topic of selfishness and consumer behavior, using Scripture references and scholarly sources. This assignment prompts students to consider the concept of “treasure in heaven” as discussed in the Bible and how it relates to modern values and the potential for a different kind of economy.

You will then submit replies of at least 150 words to at least 2
other students’ threads. Your replies are due by 11:59 p.m. (ET) on Monday of the assigned
Module: Week. Each reply must include a Scripture reference and at least 2 scholarly sources,
plus the course text — all in current APA format.
Reply #1 (Jonathan):
Do you think you are selfish? If so, in what ways? What steps can you take to be less selfish?
While it is not easy to admit, an honest look in the mirror would reveal that I have selfish tendencies. Whether it is in my work, my marriage, or my friendships, it’s easy for me to look out for only myself at times. Being in a position of management at work, there are times when I pass along tasks to my crew members solely because I don’t want to do them myself. It may not necessarily be wrong in the context of the job; however, the tasks might fall more in my wheelhouse and be something that I’m better suited for. In a weak moment, though, I pass them along simply because of selfish intentions. In my marriage, and other relationships for that matter, I’ve been exposed to my selfish, greedy heart. It’s easy to think about where I want to go out to eat, how I did the dishes last night, and how I want to go to the driving range. Although “greed is part of us; it is part of the fallen nature we struggle with as individuals” (Cowan, 2006, p. 29), I try to fight that urge. I don’t want to be selfish, especially to my wife. I want to be aware of those tendencies and instead choose to serve and put others’ wants and needs before my own.
How can you change your consumer behavior in general, and your spending in particular, for the better?
One of the most important spending habits my wife and I have is in giving to our church regularly. Giving of our finances is not only a calling we have as believers, but also forces us to rely more on Christ than if we didn’t. In a culture that values consumerism and material things more and more every day, giving away the first parts of our paycheck each month to the Church helps grow our faith that the Lord will provide for us and use our resources to help advance His kingdom. It’s important to remember, too, that everything we are given comes from the Lord. Our finances are not ours to begin with. This is not to take a Prosperity Gospel stance where we believe that God “rewards faithful followers with wealth, and that material blessings are signs of God’s favor” (Mundey, 2017, p. 321). On the contrary, it should allow us to view our finances as a gift from God that should be stewarded well. In that light, spending money on unnecessary material things grows less appealing and investing money wisely for children and giving money away to those in need becomes significantly more attractive.
Reply #2 (Kantor):
The two questions I chose to answer were:
What do you think Jesus meant when he referred to “treasure in heaven” in Matthew 19:21? How would you compare that treasure to the “treasures” you have now?
Try to imagine an alternative to today’s economy. How would such a system operate? How does your understanding of human nature fit into this system?
When Jesus refers to “treasure in heaven” in Matthew 19:21, he most likely means spiritual prosperity and virtue. In this instance, Jesus counsels a wealthy young man to give to the needy, sell his belongings, and follow Him. The heavenly treasure represents the enduring worth of sacrifice and devotion to God. “Spiritual capital is reflected in what an organization believes in, what it exists for, what it aspires to, and what it takes responsibility for” (Zohar & Marshall, 2004, p. 3). It emphasizes the concept that, despite its fluctuation, worldly money can be used to fund deeds of kindness and generosity, building up a spiritual wealth that surpasses tangible belongings.
There is a clear difference between the treasures of today’s world and this heavenly treasure. Earthly riches are frequently temporary things like wealth, status, and material belongings. On the other hand, the treasure in the heavens highlights attributes that transcend the limitations of this world, such as kindness, love, and service. “Jesus poses one of the most difficult economic points in the Bible: we cannot serve both God and wealth” (Cowan, 2012, p. 25). When people consider their own treasures, they might wonder if their goals really correspond with these timeless principles.
Thinking about an economy other than the one we have now is imagining one in which the welfare of the community comes before the pursuit of personal wealth. A system like that might prioritize equality, sustainability, and collaboration. Human nature, which is viewed as both self-interested and empathetic, would be extremely important in this situation. Human nature knowledge would be incorporated into policies that promote shared wealth, recognizing the need for peace in society and a balance between personal ambitions and needs.
In conclusion, Jesus’ idea of a “treasure in heaven” promotes a change in viewpoint in favor of permanent spiritual principles. Thinking about this in comparison to modern values makes one consider their priorities in life. Thinking about a different kind of economy emphasizes how important it is to match social institutions with a more complex view of human nature.

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