And I say to you, Make to yourselves friends of the mammon of unrighteousness; that, when you fail…
Christ here tells us plainly which is the path of wisdom. When we see a man making ducks and drakes of his money, we call him a fool — and so he is, from our point of view, because he might be acquiring solid advantages with what he is wasting. But, from the point of view of the gospel, we are just as great fools ourselves, for those solid advantages of which we speak are probably as far from being eternal as the others; keeping our eyes fixed upon the everlasting future, we must admit that every penny spent upon ourselves is as much wasted as if we had chucked it into the river. Do not then ask me, "May I allow myself this luxury?" or "May I not indulge this taste?" Of course you may, as long as it is harmless, but you will be wiser if you don't, for you might with the same money be making friends for eternity. This saying of our Lord, then, is, in its fulness, for those that can receive it, and they are, perhaps, as few as they are happy; when we get to heaven and behold the richness of their reward, the overflowing happiness of those who have spent and been spent in making others happy, we shall wonder how we could have been so stupid as to waste our money on ourselves. For the rest of us, it is a principle which we must acknowledge humbly, even if we have not strength of mind to act upon it much at present. We may still decide, perhaps, to live up to our income, to live according to our rank, to maintain a certain style, and so on, but we will not be such contemptible hypocrites as to pretend that this is the path of Christian wisdom. The principle which Christ lays down we shall keep before our eyes, and we shall pray that it may sink little by little into our hearts, until it begin to bear fruit in our lives — the principle, I mean, that every penny spent on self is wasted, every penny we can learn to part with is saved because laid up with Him.
(R. Winterbotham, M. A.)
Parallel VersesKJV: 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.