“And I say unto you, Make to yourselves friends of the mammon of unrighteousness; that, when ye fail, they may receive you into everlasting habitations” (Luke 16:9).
In this parable the Lord Jesus Christ explains what the bad steward did to prepare for the future, that is, he acted prudently (Luke 16:1-9.) “And the lord commended the unjust steward, because he had done wisely: for the children of this world are in their generation wiser than the children of light” (:8.) The unsaved are not truly wise, but they are not fools when it comes to money.
What is the Lord advising in this parable? Simply this, prepare for the future by using money correctly and being good stewards of what God has blessed us with. Yes, “the love of money is the root of all evil” (1 Timothy 6:10), but the fault lies with the user not the money itself. We cannot avoid using it. Without it we can do very little. We need to be faithful managers of our finances. Here is sound advice: “Gain all you can, save all you can, and give all you can.”
Gain All You Can
This does not mean that we should gain wealth at the expense of health; for no labour is good that makes us ill. We need good food and good rest. This is true for our minds also. We ought not to work at that which is contrary to the Word of God and good conscience.
In gaining all we can we must be careful that we harm no one or their property. The gambling industry does just that. Christians should not be involved in loan companies where an excessive amount of interest is charged. It is no good to sell our products below the true value of them, otherwise we undercut another seller and thus destroy his income, and deserve to earn the damnation of Hell. To increase our income in any of such ways is particularly evil, and prove that we do not love our neighbour (Matthew 22:39.)
We can gain all we can through honest labour and wisdom. This involves making the most of the time God has given us. Do our lives have to be unprofitable by indulging in time-wasting entertainment and amusements? No, Scripture says, “Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might” (Ecclesiastes 9:10.) Never procrastinate by putting off until tomorrow what should be done today. God has given us a brain and expects us to use it. Some people never improve themselves, but instead continue with the same dull lives that they lived yesterday.
Save All You Can
Many are guilty of waste in that they are not making good use of what they have. Nor should we misuse our finances on trivial things, that is the same as throwing your money down the drain. Do not spend to gratify “the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life [riches]” (1 John 2:16.) Do we need to have expensive tastes in food, drink, fashion and furnishings? Therefore cut out all unnecessary expenditure and be content with the simple things of life. We ought not to be free with our money to win the praise and admiration of those around us. Some do this at restaurants and clothing stores. Let us be content with “the honour that cometh from God” (John 5:44.) Experience proves that the more we gratify the flesh, the more it expects to be pampered. Do we really need that thing we long after?
Some parents waste money on their children by buying costly clothing and constant treats. Are they not developing evil desires in their offspring? Are parents not laying snares and temptations in the way for them? Such actions are truly preparing their souls for damnation. Have pity, and remove everything that might increase their sins in the future.
What if you have a large sum of money in the bank? Who should you leave it to when you are gone? Would it be right to leave it to a relative who misused his own money? We should only leave an inheritance to those who would use it correctly. If there are not, then leave it as a legacy to those engaged in spreading God’s truth and glory.
Give All You Can
Gaining and saving is not the end of the matter. Storing money away is just as unprofitable as not having any.
The Creator placed us here, not as owners, but as stewards of the earth. He owns all things and has given us His possessions to enjoy for a time. Even our spirit, soul and body belong to God (1 Corinthians 6:19.) Added to this, He has promised us a “far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory” (2 Corinthians 4:17.)
There are three things that ought to be done with money:
1. Provide for our basic needs – food, clothing, health, and shelter.
2. Provide for the needs of your household and for their future.
3. Provide for the needs of those who fall into difficulty in the family of faith.
Paul says in Galatians 6:10, “As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith.” If we do this we are actually giving to the Lord … “unto God the things that are God’s” (Matthew 22:21.) In giving we have to continue to be good stewards by being obedient to God’s word. In truth our giving is offered up as a sacrifice to God (Philippians 4:18; 1 Peter 2:5). Let us not give to receive reward or praise from man, “For the Son of man shall come in the glory of His Father with His angels; and then He shall reward every man according to his works” (Matthew 16:27.) This is the way to make friends with “the mammon of unrighteousness” (Luke 16:9), because when we are in need, other will help us.
We tithe a certain percentage of our income, but let us not justify ourselves before God as did the religious leaders of Jesus’ day Instead give to God that which belongs to Him, holding nothing back. If we have given ourselves to God, then it includes our bank balance too.
Can we be faithful stewards and mismanage what God has blessed us with? Don’t consult with financial advisors regarding your money; instead consult God and His word. Our Kingdom is not of this world, but we are citizens of Heaven (John 18:36), therefore we need to listen to the Lord. Let us not delay putting these things into action … “Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might” (Ecclesiastes 9:10.) Let there be no more wasting our money on food, fashions and lusts of the day.
The right use of money is no small part of the “wisdom of the just” (Luke 1:17.) By gaining all we can, saving all we can, and giving all we can, we are “Laying up in store for [ourselves] a good foundation against the time to come, that [we] may lay hold on eternal life” (1 Timothy 6:19.)