If therefore ye have not been faithful in the unrighteous mammon, who will commit to your trust the true riches?
— Luke 16:11
One of the biggest issues people face — and one that people pray to get victory over in their lives — is in the financial realm. If getting your finances into shape is one of your desires, I’m certain this Sparkling Gem will be very important for you.
As we first saw in the January 5 Sparkling Gem, how you handle your finances is a very spiritual issue. According to Luke 16:11, your finances — how you manage and respect them — is a test God uses to assess whether you’re ready for higher levels of blessing, prosperity, responsibility, and greater authority. In this verse, Jesus clearly taught that God watches how you manage your money, and that is what helps Him determine if you are ready for promotion. This is precisely what Jesus meant when He said, “If therefore ye have not been faithful in the unrighteous mammon, who will commit to your trust the true riches?”
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It is very important for you to understand what Jesus is telling us in this verse. In the Greek, the word “faithful” is the word pistoi, which expresses the picture of a person who is known to be faithful, responsible, conscientious, and trustworthy. This is in comparison to a person who is impetuous, thoughtless, rash, irresponsible, and therefore not trustworthy. Therefore, this verse could be taken to mean: “If you are impetuous, thoughtless, rash, irresponsible, and untrustworthy with unrighteous mammon, who will commit to your trust the true riches?”
Whatever this “unrighteous mammon” is in this verse, it is so important that managing it unwisely has the power to disqualify us from receiving true riches from God. So it is very important that we understand what the “unrighteous mammon” is that Jesus is speaking about in this verse!
The word “unrighteous” comes from the Greek word adikia, which in this verse is used to convey the idea of something unspiritual, common, worldly, or something that belongs to the realm of human beings. The word “mammon” is the word mamonas, a very old Greek word that denotes money or wealth. When these words “unrighteous mammon” are used together as they are in this verse, it denotes common, worldly money, along with all of its buying power in this earthly sphere.
Furthermore, when Jesus referred to “true riches,” the word “true” is the Greek word alethinos, which means real, bona fide, genuine, indisputable, or authentic. You see, money, which seems so powerful in this earthly realm with all of its buying power, is nothing compared to the power of God. Heavenly power and heavenly riches far surpass the power and authority of money. For those who have proven themselves faithful and reliable, God will upgrade the level of spiritual power and authority that operates through them. But according to Jesus’ words in Luke 16:11, before God upgrades this level of spiritual power and authority in a person’s life, first He watches to see how he or she manages money — that’s the big test!
In other words, if you are not faithful, responsible, conscientious, and trustworthy with money — which is a lower form of power in this earthly realm — why would God promote you to greater levels of spiritual power, responsibility, and authority?
How you manage your money and what you do with it is far more important than you may have ever realized. It’s good that you want to get your finances in shape and get out of debt, but you need to know that how you handle your money is a big test. If God finds you faithful with money, the lowest form of power in the world today, He will know you can be trusted with real spiritual riches that are unequaled in power.
Taken together, a correct interpretative translation of Jesus’ words in Luke 16:11 could be rendered:
“If you are impetuous, thoughtless, rash, irresponsible, and untrustworthy with regular ol’ money and all of its buying power in this earthly realm, who will commit to your trust the indisputable, true, bona fide riches?”
By listening to the Spirit of God, using common sense, exercising self-control, and planning your purchases in advance, you can live a life that is more debt-free than the way you’re living right now. It will take determination to do it, but if you really want to become free of debt — and remain free forever — it is possible to achieve it.
But most importantly, you need to know this: If your spending habits are so out of control that you don’t tithe and cannot give to other works that the Holy Spirit prompts you to support, you’re failing the test God uses to determine whether you’re ready to be promoted into higher realms of spiritual power, responsibility, and authority. Your money is the big test that God uses to determine if you are ready for that next big promotion! Since this is what Jesus meant in Luke 16:11, doesn’t it make sense that you should take a fresh look at how you’re using and managing your money?
So let me ask you this question: Since God is looking at how you manage your money, do you think He finds you faithful and therefore ready for a big promotion — or do you think God finds you lacking and therefore not ready for the next step up in His good plan for you?
Most of the world — including the Christian community — longs for more financial freedom and less debt. Especially at this time when so many people have been hit across the world with financial crisis, God’s people are asking Him for wisdom and resolutions to very pressing financial challenges.
The fact is that most of the world is in some sort of financial debt. This means there are very few people who are financially free. Nations, families, and churches are all in debt. But just because the rest of the world has fallen into this trap, and lives like this doesn’t mean you have to fall into this same pattern and become trapped by debt that dominates your life. You can make the decision once and for all to be financially freer than you’ve ever been before. If you will stick with your decision, God will help you reach your goals and make that freedom a reality in your life.
And by proving yourself faithful with “unrighteous mammon,” God will know that you qualify for higher levels of spiritual power. It may seem to be a very simplistic view about money and divine power, but this is exactly what Jesus taught!
MY PRAYER FOR TODAY
Father, I take a fresh look at how I handle my finances. It is not Your will for me to be in bondage to anything — including and especially to debt. I make the decision once and for all to be financially freer than I’ve ever been. Holy Spirit, I ask You to reveal to me the ways I can exercise more wisdom and restraint in financial matters, so that you can count me trustworthy with the true riches of Your Kingdom.
I pray this in Jesus’ name!
MY CONFESSION FOR TODAY
I declare that from this day forward, I will give more attention to listening to the Spirit of God, using common sense, exercising self-control, and planning my purchases in advance so I can live a life that is more debt-free than the way I’m living right now. I desire to be and to remain completely free from any financial hindrance so I can give and go without hindrance. In all my affairs, especially in the area of my finances, I commit to making choices that prove me to be a faithful steward of the natural power and influence God has entrusted to me so I can be trusted with true spiritual riches for the glory of God and the blessing of others!
I declare this by faith in Jesus’ name!
QUESTIONS FOR YOU TO CONSIDER
- If you were free of debt, what are the ways you would be able to allot more money to the Gospel and to meet the needs of others?
- Do you struggle in obeying God with your tithe and offerings? Do bills and credit card interest payments affect whether or not you give your tithe and offerings to the Lord? If so, what specific changes do you need to make to assuage any guilt you might be carrying in your soul because you know you’re robbing God (see Malachi 3:8)?
- If you are handling your money wisely, can you see how it would show Jesus that you had reached a level of maturity that would mean you could be entrusted with true riches?