The people of this world are more shrewd in dealing with their own kind than are the people of the light. Luke 16:8
The coronavirus pandemic resulted in canceled schools around the world. In China, teachers responded with DingTalk, a digital app that enabled class to be held online. Then their students figured out that if DingTalk’s rating fell too low, it might be removed from the App Store. Overnight, thousands of one-star reviews dropped DingTalk’s score.
Jesus wouldn’t be impressed with the students shirking their responsibilities, but He might admire their ingenuity. He told an unusual story about a fired manager who on his final day slashed the bills of his master’s debtors. Jesus didn’t praise the manager’s dishonesty. Rather He commended his cleverness and wished His followers would be equally shrewd: “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 16:9).
When it comes to money, most people look at how much they might lose. Wise people look for what they can use. Jesus said giving to others “gain[s] friends,” which provides safety and influence. Who is the leader in any group? The one who pays. Giving also gains “eternal dwellings,” for our willingness to part with our cash shows our trust is in Jesus.
Even if we don’t have money, we do have time, skills, or a listening ear. Let’s ask God to show us how to creatively serve others for Jesus.
Who does Jesus want you to serve today? How might you creatively use your skills, money, or time to bless this person?
Jesus, I want to give to others for You.
The main character in the story Jesus told in Luke 16:1–8 is referred to as a “manager.” The word translated “manager” is oikonómos. Such persons were in charge of household affairs (to include finances, servants, children, flocks, and fields). Though English translations don’t necessarily reflect this, words derived from this root word appear seven times in this passage, including what’s translated “my job” in verses 3 and 4. In 1 Corinthians 4:1–2 and Titus 1:7, Paul uses oikonómos to refer to Christian leaders. Peter uses the term to refer to believers in Jesus in general (1 Peter 4:10). Each has been entrusted with gifts and responsibilities for which we’re accountable to God. Wisely using these gifts and responsibilities goes with good stewardship.