“If therefore you have not been faithful in the unrighteous mammon, who will commit to your trust the true riches”—Luke 16:11
From the above scripture, two things stand out for deep consideration. They are: unrighteous mammon and The True Riches. And I want to differentiate between the two of them.
The word translated as mammon, is from the Greek word “Mammonas” which is of an Aramaic origin, meaning: Avariciousness. That is, the deification of wealth or riches. In simpler term, it means putting confidence or trust in riches, even much more than God.
Hence, mammonism can be also explained to mean idolatry of material or financial possessions. And of course, it is definitely unrighteous in its entire ramification.
In the scriptural context, mammonism is putting the acquisition of wealth or riches or gain before God’s interest and commandments.
Unfaithfulness in the Mammon of Unrighteousness
What the Lord meant in our opening text concerning not being faithful in the mammon of unrighteousness, is any act which places material or financial gain above the interest and the commandments of God .
These acts Include (but are not limited to) the following:
- Taking of Bribe to pervert justice
- Trickery, deception and hypnotism in order to get money (E.g. Internet Fraud)
- Refusing to give out material or financial possession when the Lord clearly prompts you to.
- Covetousness and greediness in Financial and material matters
- Killing for money
- Misappropriation of funds, committed into ones hand for a particular purpose for personal gains. Including government funds, popularly referred to as “National Cake”
- Mismanagement and stealing of Church funds and offerings.
All these and many similar acts of material and financial pervasion constitute what the word of God refers to as being unfaithful in the mammon of unrighteousness.
But then in our opening text, the Lord also made mention of commitment of True Riches. Thus, having considered the Lord’s context of mammonism, we now turn to the good and sweet part of riches – The True Riches.
What is The True Riches?
As we begin to consider the true riches, it is important that we consider a particular scripture that gives a great eye-opener on this topic:
“And unto the angel of the church of the Laodiceans, write; these things say the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God; I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot: I would that you were cold or hot. So then because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spew you out of my mouth. Because you say, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and know not that you are wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked:
I counsel you to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that you may be rich, and white clothing, that you may be clothed, and that the shame of your nakedness does not appear; and anoint your eyes with eye salve, that you may see. As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore and repent.”—Rev 3:14-19
From this scripture above, again the Lord opens our eyes to mammonism and the True Riches. This particular Angel of the Laodiceans church (which is obviously a church leader), became spiritually lackadaisical as a result of his wealth – And then put his confidence in his possessions—for he said; “I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing “. Which is mammonism or avariciousness; and that was what the Lord Jesus was seriously against.
And anybody in that state of avariciousness, the Lord says; is wretched and miserable, poor and naked. The Lord wasn’t necessarily angry with him because of his wealth– but rather, he was against his confidence in his possessions. And this kind of idolatry is not only the vice of the super-rich. Even the poor and middle class also indulge in it. The poor or average class man or woman with some possession can also be unfaithful in the unrighteous mammon.
They also put financial gain before God’s commandments.
For instance, we see people lie about their age in order to gain employment. Some traders use the wrong side of a measuring cup to measure rice and beans for customers. When someone asks them for financial or material help, they swear they don’t have a dime or the thing requested, when they have some to sacrifice.
Many don’t pay their tithe and offering in the Church. Just to mention but a few.
But then immediately after the Lord finished rebuking him (the Angel of the Laodiceans Church), He counsels him to buy of him genuine gold, that he might truly be rich.
Hence, the True Riches are the Riches that come from God by Faith and faithfulness to the Lord Jesus Christ. To be truly rich, you need to put all your confidence and trust in God for everything, including financial and material supply.
And you must be absolutely faithful and obedient to his instructions in your acquisition and spending of these riches. And while these riches are in your possession, you must be poor and lowly in spirit. Never ever put your trust in the riches but rather, let your trust only be and remain in God; and give him glory for the abundance of all things.