Today's Reading - Luke 16 - 17
The Parable of the Shrewd Manager speaks to me especially, as I consider the complexity of exactly what Christ meant as He told this story to His disciples. The story begins with a rich man firing his manager, after accusing him of mismanaging the finances. Stressed and worried to be without the profession he knows, the manager schemes to profit and collect money from the master’s debtors.
After the manager collects portions of the debts, the rich man actually commends him for acting so shrewdly. Honestly, this is where I took a wrong turn and got lost for a bit. Why in the world would Jesus have the rich man congratulate a guy that was being fired just moments before? Did the rich man realize that the manager was deceitful, in addition to just being a lousy money manager? It doesn’t make any sense. What is Jesus telling me?! After riding around in circles looking for direction, I got back on track in verses 10-12:
“Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much, and whoever is dishonest with very little will also be dishonest with much. So if you have not been trustworthy in handling worldly wealth, who will trust you with true riches? And if you have not been trustworthy with someone else’s property, who will give you property of your own?”
It’s all about trust. “If you have not been trustworthy in handling worldly wealth, who will trust you with true riches?” Jesus paints this image beautifully by showing the uglier side; the “not-so-Disney-ending” option to the story. The portrait of a man who blatantly mismanaged the wealth. This started me thinking; and not about money, but time.
Where in my life do I mismanage God’s wealth that He has entrusted in me? Do I use my precious time to add riches to His kingdom or do I actually cheat Him by wasting it? (Because it’s really His time and not mine, right?) Laying around idle, instead of being in the Word. Small talk, instead of sharing the Good News. Hanging out, instead of being service-minded. I’m frequently guilty on all counts, truthfully. This parable is a humbling reminder for me that the wealth of time I’m holding isn’t mine to waste.
Where are the areas in your life (time, talents, money, etc) where Christ has you managing His wealth?
Are you being a good manager of His wealth or do you catch yourself stealing from Him?
What are some habits and/or spiritual practices you can implement to help become a better manager of the treasures Christ has entrusted in us?
Ok, put down the Bible and go do it!
by Hunter Johnston