Luke 16:9 (KJV) 9 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.
Some people say, “Money is the root of all evil,” but it’s a well-known truth among believers that that saying is inaccurate. The Bible’s rendition is, “The love of money is the root of all evil.” Clearly there are many people who use money in very ungodly ways, but equally true is that there are very godly uses for them as well. In fact, our precious Lord Jesus encourages us to do that: use them extremely wisely; use them in a manner that they will yield eternal benefits.
Heaven—eternal life can never be bought, and that’s really good; not one of us can afford it. This doesn’t preclude our handling of finances from good stewardship and accountability; we’re going to answer for how wisely or unwisely we manage them. The tone of the passage seems very serious. Surface reading may suggest loss of eternal dwelling—heaven—as a result of failure to make friends through them. But this isn’t so. Our full dependence and surrender to Jesus as our Lord and Savior is the only basis whether or not we are welcomed into the eternal presence of our Father.
This is a call to believers. True believers use their hard-earned income for God and His Kingdom; doing so is a joy and wisdom for us. We know: one of their greatest uses is as instruments in building relationships. No, we don’t pay for friendship, but we need to spend for gas, food, phone, and a lot of other stuff for us to bond with others. Our intention to be a friend is sincere, at the same time, we deeply desire that all of our friends be saved. This is one of the ways finances matter eternally. Yes, we invest this often-seen-as-devil’s-instrument for heavenly purposes.
Acts 25:22 (KJV) 22 Then Agrippa said unto Festus, I would also hear the man myself. To morrow, said he, thou shalt hear him.
The visiting King Agrippa was informed by the then Governor Festus about the Apostle Paul and the situation at hand. The king didn’t carelessly jump into conclusion; he didn’t rashly give any opinion; he didn’t impulsively give Festus any advice; he wisely requested to hear Paul firsthand. Festus granted his request but not until the next day. There was no argument on the king’s part. He didn’t push for an immediate audience. He agreed to wait.
Much of the hurtful misunderstandings, destructive fights, wrong decisions and unfair judgments that have created so much chaos and havoc in relationships, both in familial and international scale, has been caused by unwillingness to check out things firsthand. We don’t process info properly. We hear something and we get affected. Now, that’s natural; what we hear will usually affect us. But it doesn’t mean we need to believe it and act on it immediately. Especially in dealing with really important or critical matters, we ought to make sure that we have all the info we can get to make a wise and fair judgment before jumping into any conclusion. Of course there are times when we don’t have the luxury of time to patiently gather all pertinent data. In most emergency scenarios, we need to make wise use of whatever facts readily available and act on them quickly. But if we have time, by all means: ask, listen, do research; we need to employ the valuable virtue of patience. It will lead us to right beliefs, right decisions, and right actions. And, it will spare us from many heartaches and headaches.
Dear God of truth and justice, please give us a heart that really pursues truth. Often, our judgments our clouded by our preferences. When a situation or an information favors our preference, we get overjoyed and under-informed. And with our unformed and incomplete basis, we march confidently forward only to find ourselves in very embarrassing position. Please remind us always that truth is our friend. Truth only threatens errors and lies. The more we find genuine materials that lead to further discoveries – the better. They may bring us closer to affirming truth we already believe in or to finding the truth that will save us from errors we may have held on to. Help us to have an attitude that is welcoming and approving of them. There are those who are in stark contrast with what we believe in. Help us to really love them and be friends to them. Many of them are on the same quest as we are. Although coming from different directions, we share the passion for the real deal: truth. – in Jesus’ Name, amen.