Friday, November 4, 2005
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.
This is followed by:
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.
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. If therefore ye have not been faithful in the unrighteous mammon, who will commit to your trust the true riches? And if ye have not been faithful in that which is another man's, who shall give you that which is your own? No servant can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.
And the Pharisees also, who were covetous, heard all these things: and they derided him. And he said unto them, Ye are they which justify yourselves before men; but God knoweth your hearts: for that which is highly esteemed among men is abomination in the sight of God.
Is this a discourse or a collection of sayings? If the former, then is the rich man’s property of Mammon or of God? By reducing all the debtors’ bills, does not the unjust steward waste even more of his lord’s wealth? Yet the lord commends him and does not seek to punish him.
Let us say that the rich man is God, his property is Mammon, and I am the unjust steward (I have wasted God’s goods, I cannot dig, and to beg I am ashamed). God’s property is the least. I serve God, not his property. I am wise to make friends with the debtors, by reducing their debts to God. God approves of being cheated this way.
God does not approve of my wasting his property. I must be faithful in whatever of it is entrusted to me, and despise and hate it if it becomes my master. It is to make friends with; in itself it will fail. If I am faithful in this trust, then I shall be entrusted with true riches. If I love God’s property and not God and his debtors, I may be esteemed among men, but an abomination in the sight of God.