Friday, June 2, 2023

Devotionals for the Heart: Life lessons on friendship and wealth that lasts

Using Money Wisely to Make Everlasting Friends

A devotional by Chaplain Paul Anderson

“And I tell you [learn from this], make friends for yourselves [for eternity] by means of the wealth of unrighteousness [that is, use material resources as a way to further the work of God], so that when it runs out, they will welcome you into the eternal dwellings.”–Luke 16:9 (AMP) 

Recently, I was conversing with friends who are wealthy. 

They had introduced and welcomed my wife and I to one of their new assets. They freely made it available for us to use. In fact, they insisted that if their friends did not access this property regularly, they would have acquired it in vain. In the conversation he referenced a text that I had read but never studied in depth. The text was Luke 16:9.

My friend said that "there is a responsibility that accompanies wealth". The responsibility is to invest some of their wealth in expanding the experiences, opportunities, and horizons of their trusted friends. In so doing, he said, we make everlasting friends.

In this conversation, I learned two things. First, having wealth that does not corrode the soul requires hospitable use of the resources. Generosity begets good friends. They become safe havens or metaphoric tabernacles where hopes, dreams, aspirations and even fears can be shared confidently and confidentially. The second thing that my study confirmed was the difference between eternal and everlasting. Divinity is eternal, having no end, beginning, origin or destiny. Everlasting is something that may not have existed in eternity past but will exist forever going forward. 

When people have experienced and enjoyed your hospitality, they are more accepting of the peculiarities of your faith. If your friendships are solid and the wealth you shared evaporates or loses relevance, your true friends will still be there to love you, nurture and encourage you.

The wisdom of Jesus Christ does not command that we buy, with opulent gifts, the presence and the loyalty of friends. Rather, He is saying that we should be judicious yet generous with our loved ones and friends. In so doing, barriers are bridged, memories are forged and hearts are bonded. I am reminded of a maxim from my grandmother. She said, “Pick your friends wisely and spend most of your time with people who push you to be better and to do better, because bad friends can cut your potential to shreds.” When you have chosen well and poured into your friends, they will always welcome, nurture and support you.

Who are some of your everlasting friends? Make a list. How have you invested in them? How have they invested in you? Who would you like to add to your list of everlasting friends? Let’s pray for your current and potential everlasting friends.

Let’s Pray: Dear God, thank You for those people in our lives who have become everlasting friends. Thank you for bonding us. Now, dear God, as we move into this new day of the new month, be with us as we consider our ways, our wealth and the responsible use of the money You have given to us. Help us to spend freely to help advance the cause of Christ and the work of God in the world around us. In the Name of Jesus I pray. Amen.

Song of Reflection: “Unexpected Friends” by Sandi Patty. Listen to it here.

Author Bio:

Chaplain Paul Anderson served for 20 years as a U.S. Navy Chaplain. Over 26 years of active duty, he was promoted through the ranks from Seaman Apprentice (E2) to his final rank as Commander (O5) in the Chaplain’s Corps. 

Prior to his Naval career, Chaplain Anderson pastored in the Allegheny East and Potomac Conferences of Seventh-day Adventists. His undergraduate preparation for ministry was completed at Washington Adventist University in Takoma Park, Md.

He has subsequently earned four graduate degrees: a Master of Divinity from Andrews University in Michigan, a Master of Education in Counseling and Personnel Services from the University of Maryland in College Park, Maryland and a Masters of Sacred Theology in Religion and Culture from Boston University. His Doctor of Ministry degree was conferred by Wesley Theological Seminary in Washington, D.C.

Chaplain Anderson also completed four units of Clinical Pastoral Education at Walter Reed Army Medical Center. He also holds certifications in Suicide Awareness and Prevention, Civil Mediation, Alternative Workplace Dispute Resolution, Temperament Analysis, Marriage Enrichment, Workforce Diversity, and is a certified Life Coach.

You may connect with Chaplain Anderson via email at this address,

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