ONE of the strangest of the parables of Jesus is that of the unjust steward (Luke 16:1-13). Here is a steward about to be turned out of his job who cleverly gets himself into the good graces of debtors to his master by reducing all their accounts. He thus hopes to be welcomed into their homes after he loses his position. And his master commends, him, not for his dishonesty but for his foresight in looking after himself.
Our Lord uses this strange story to drive home the point that the people of this world are more prudent in their temporal affairs than believers who are stewards of the manifold grace of God. The proper investment of money is in helping others, that when we die they may welcome us to our eternal home. It is plainly taught that those we help here shall greet us in heaven if they are believers—and that throws light on recognition of friends in heaven. Paul tells us to share with others and lay up in store for ourselves a good foundation against the time to come, that we may lay hold on eternal life (1 Tim. 6:18-19).
We are bidden to labor, working with our hands the thing which is good, that we may have, not something to put away in the bank, but to give to him that needeth (Eph. 4:28). It is generally overlooked that the Bible teaches that money is to be invested in others, where it is sure to pay dividends. If the thousands who put it in banks during the past years had put it in human lives, they might now be realizing returns.
But our Lord goes even further. He plainly declares (Luke 16:10-12) that how we handle money is an index to how we would handle greater treasure. If we do not rightly use that which is another’s (for to have is to owe, not own), how shall we use spiritual wealth? I am convinced that God is withholding blessing from many a man today because He has first tried the man out with money and he has not been faithful in that, so He will not commit greater things to his stewardship. If we are unfaithful in the less, we shall surely be in the greater. The Pharisees derided Jesus for this teaching. They still deride the man today who follows Him in this precept and practice. For Pharisees follow the wisdom of earth and lay up treasure, while the Lord bids us to be rich toward God and rich in faith. After all these years of preaching, the average Christian follows the worlds code in investment of money.
It certainly is a neglected truth that the use we make of money here will have much to do with our heavenly reception when we reach the other side. The greatest fortune is found in friends, and the Christian should certainly use spiritual foresight even as this world uses it in things temporal. Make friends with money rightly spent in the name of the Lord!