Daily Devotional


The Shrewd Manager

by Simon Whitton

1 Jesus told his disciples: "There was a rich man whose manager was accused of wasting his possessions.
2 So he called him in and asked him, 'What is this I hear about you? Give an account of your management, because you cannot be manager any longer.'
3 "The manager said to himself, 'What shall I do now? My master is taking away my job. I'm not strong enough to dig, and I'm ashamed to beg--
4 I know what I'll do so that, when I lose my job here, people will welcome me into their houses.'
5 "So he called in each one of his master's debtors. He asked the first, 'How much do you owe my master?'
6 "'Eight hundred gallons of olive oil,' he replied. "The manager told him, 'Take your bill, sit down quickly, and make it four hundred.'
7 "Then he asked the second, 'And how much do you owe?' "'A thousand bushels of wheat,' he replied. "He told him, 'Take your bill and make it eight hundred.'
8 "The master commended the dishonest manager because he had acted shrewdly. For the people of this world are more shrewd in dealing with their own kind than are the people of the light.
9 I tell you, use worldly wealth to gain friends for yourselves, so that when it is gone, you will be welcomed into eternal dwellings.

Luke 16:1-9 (NIV)

The rich man is God, the manager is us, the control the manager had over the rich man's assets is the control we now have over the money and material possessions that God has given us.

The manager is informed his time is very short and he is being called to account for what he has done with the rich man's assets.  As we know, our time on this earth is very short and we will soon be called to account for how we've handled what God has given us.

The manager, knowing his control over the rich man's assets was short, looked ahead to when he would no longer hold this privileged position.  And realized he could ensure his future prosperity by giving away what isn't his, while he still could, to his master's debtors.

All of 'our' money and possessions actually belong to God, and our control over them will be very brief.  We too should give to our brothers, sisters and others what we can of what God has entrusted us with, and by doing this we are being shrewd and laying away treasures in heaven.

The master commended the dishonest manager because he had acted shrewdly.
For the people of this world are more shrewd in dealing with their own kind
than are the people of the light.
I tell you, use worldly wealth to gain friends for yourselves, so that when it is gone, you will be welcomed into eternal dwellings.

Let's not make the mistake of institutionalizing all of our giving, as if this is the only way to give to God.  Every time we are generous we are giving to God; every time we give to an individual, especially if they are poor, we are giving to God.  The issue is not whether they "deserve" it or not, or whether they are a Christian, the issue is being generous with what God has entrusted you with.

Spend some time praying and ask the Lord to forgive you for how you have wasted His possessions, how you've managed them naively.  Ask Him to bring needy people across your path.  Ask Him to teach you how to give in such a way that is a blessing to the recipient and pleases God.


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