Posted: Thursday, April 13
Verse of the day:
…And it is true that the children of this world are more shrewd in dealing with the world around them than are the children of the light. (Luke 16:8 NIV)
The parable of the shrewd manager in Luke 16 has long been one of my favorite stories that Jesus told. In the parable, a rich boss is firing his manager for being lazy and inept. The manager knows he’ll never find another job like this, but instead of storming out of the office, he decides to negotiate significant discounts on customers’ invoices—without the boss’s knowledge or permission. His thinking is, “I’ll build some goodwill with these key business players, and maybe they’ll want to hire me later.” The boss eventually hears about it, but instead of punishing him, commends the swindler on his survival skills.
Jesus laments that the people of this world are more shrewd than his own followers. The dictionary defines shrewd as being astute or sharp in practical matters. There are so many lessons from this short story but here are my main takeaways…
If you are shrewd in matters of business and finance than you also ought to be shrewd in matters of growing the Kingdom of God. If you receive rewards for your insights and leadership at work and yet use none of those abilities to benefit the church and the work of God that is a tremendous mistake. God gave you that discernment and understanding to primarily benefit His work, not your own.
As Christians we are called to be loving and innocent, but that does not mean naïve and gullible. Jesus said we should be shrewd as serpents and innocent as doves. You are not expected to help every cause or to give away your money without ensuring that the recipient is trustworthy.
We ought to continually think about how our resources can benefit others around us. Do your neighbors know they can borrow your tools or ladder when they need it? Do friends traveling through the area know they can stay the night in your spare bedroom? Do you have an extra car that can be lent out when someone else’s car is being repaired? Showing kindness and generosity to those around us makes us like our heavenly father, and it often points people in the direction of Jesus. And one day, Jesus says they may be the very ones to welcome you into Heaven.
What are some ways you can be shrewd today?