Back in college when I first read the bible, it shocked me–Jesus said use worldly wealth to gain friends for yourself. And I thought you can’t buy friends and respect from them. So, what I did was ignore it and read other portions of the bible instead–those easier to understand, like “For God so loved the world..” For a while, I was successful–I forgot all about it. But then one day, I was led to it again.
So, I told God I had no money to gain friends with. I decided that passage was probably for those who had excess money and could afford to gain friends for themselves. But no, the passage came to me again and again until I decided to study it more in depth. One way to see if the passage applies to you is to see who Jesus was talking to. If you have similarities with them, the passage is most likely for you.
On closer scrutiny, I saw that Jesus was talking to his disciples. The Pharisees just overheard him, but he was really talking with the former. Secondly, there was mention about how one cannot serve both God and money. So, it’s for someone who wants to serve God. So the phrase applied to me. I was both a disciple and a servant. I should use money to gain friends for myself.
How? I didn’t have that much money. I still don’t.
But I realized the amount of money didn’t matter. What mattered was the use of money for God’s glory–big or small amount. It proved that I wasn’t enslaved by money, that it wasn’t a stronghold in my heart, and I could let go of it any time with anyone. If you can’t release small amount of money to gain friends for yourself, what more if you had big money? Money would swallow you whole.
Use money to “gain friends” for myself? Why? “So that when it’s gone, you will be welcomed to eternal dwellings,” the Master said. What did that mean? Gaining friends for eternal dwellings, to me, meant that money should be used to get people to see the Kingdom of God on earth. It’s not enough to just share the Gospel with them–you have to invest on them without expecting any ROI from them in return.
Instead, you just happily invest to see ROI for God’s Kingdom. It’s his money you’re investing, anyway.
So, money is for laying a foundation as an expert builder.