Let’s read Luke 16:1-8, “He also said unto His disciples: There was a certain rich man who had a steward, and an accusation was brought to him that this man was wasting his goods. So he called him and said to him, ‘What is this I hear about you? Give an account of your stewardship, for you can no longer be steward.’ Then the steward said within himself, ‘What shall I do? For my master is taking my stewardship away from me. I cannot dig: I am ashamed to beg. I have resolved what to do, that when I am put out of the stewardship, they may receive me into their houses.’ So he called every one of his master’s debtors to him and said to the first, ‘How much do you owe my master?’ And he said, ‘A hundred measures of oil.’ So he said to him, ‘Take your bill, and sit down quickly and write fifty.’ Then he said to another, ‘And how much do you owe?’ So he said, ‘A hundred measures of wheat.’ And he said to him, ‘Take your bill, and write eighty.’ So the master commended the unjust steward because he had dealt shrewdly. For the sons of this world are more shrewd in their generation than the sons of light” (NKJV).

Here we have the parable of “The unjust steward.” He is rightly called “unjust,” for his dealings with those who were in debt to his master were indeed wrong. He wronged his master by cheating him out of money that was rightfully owed to him. And yet we read that “the master commended the unjust steward because he had dealt shrewdly.” The “moral of this story” seems to be that he acted wisely by providing for his future. He pictures the unsaved in the world who use money wisely to insure they will have a good retirement and in this they “are more shrewdthan the sons of light.”

Verse 9 says, “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.” The lesson for believers in Christ is plain; we too should use money and earthly possessions to provide for our future…not our future here on earth, but for our future in heaven! We are told in Matthew 6:19-20, “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.” It is sad indeed that Christians are often guilty of setting their hearts on this poor world and using their talents, time, energy, and money in amassing wealth that will one day pass away. The Lord is teaching us in this parable that we need to set our sights on heaven and to use our money to “lay uptreasures in heaven.” Notice that money is referred to here as “the mammon of unrighteousness” because it often used for sinful things by ungodly men. But as believers we can use it for the glory of God by giving to the poor, sending money to missionaries, and many other “righteous” causes. By doing so, we are making “friends of the mammon of unrighteousness.”

Of course we should NOT follow the example of the unjust steward in using deceit and unrighteous methods. Verse 10 goes on to say, “He that is faithful in that which is least is faithful also in much: and he that is unjust in the least is unjust also in much.” The unjust steward may have been wise in looking out for his future, but he was also unfaithful to his master by being dishonest. We are to be wise as we provide for our future in heaven AND we are to be faithful to our Master, the Lord Jesus Christ. We are to use our money for His glory, and in doing so we will indeed be laying up “treasures in heaven.” The apostle Paul put it this way in 1 Timothy 6:17-19, “Instruct those who are rich in this present world not to be conceited or to fix their hope on the uncertainty of riches, but on God, Who richly supplies us with all things to enjoy. Instruct them to do good, to be rich in good works, to be generous and ready to share, storing up for themselves the treasure of a good foundation for the future, so that they may take hold of that which is life indeed” (NASB). (166.8) (DO)