If we are faithful with a little, we don’t usually need a lot. Ultimately, everything we have is His, and our purpose is to use what the Father gives us to glorify Him.
The Parable of the Shrewd Manager, Luke 16:1-18, is a complicated story told by Jesus. I asked myself as I read it over and over, “what is He trying to teach his disciples?” In this parable, there is a very rich man who has a manager that was accused of doing something dishonest. There are no details about what the manager did, but it must’ve been something pretty bad to be fired right on the spot.
The manager’s last order of business before he leaves the position is to meet with his master’s debtors and reduce what they owe. There are a few different theories about why the manager did this. In the end, whether it was to benefit his master or himself, his master was impressed. Verse 8 says, “The master commended the dishonest manager because he had acted shrewdly.” We can relate this to the way that we do things. Are we being intentional with what God has gifted us with, or are we using it flippantly? When God gives us a responsibility in His Kingdom, it is humbling. He is calling us to be thankful for that task, using wisdom to bring Him all of the glory.
No matter how unclear this parable may be in some places, there is a lesson that we can learn. We find that lesson in verses 10-12, which say, “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?” Whether we are given a lot or a little, God calls us to be good stewards of His resources. If we can’t be faithful with a little, why would God trust us with a lot? And if we are faithful with a little, we don’t usually need a lot. Ultimately, everything we have is His, and our purpose is to use what the Father gives us to glorify Him.
Verse 13 expands on this: “No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.” I think it’s time we ask ourselves who we are truly serving. In the social media era that we live in, it is so easy for us to get caught up in what everyone else has, how big their house is, how perfect their family is, or what new gadgets they have. But that’s not how God calls us to live. We don’t need to live a life of excess, because God gives us what we need.
So, I encourage you to take some time to slow down and think about what responsibilities God has given you that will help you further His Kingdom. Are you being faithful with what God has given you? Who are you serving?