If you are faithful in little things, you will be faithful in large ones. But if you are dishonest in little things, you won’t be honest with greater responsibilities (v.10).
I was looking at my bank account recently. The dismal amount led me to think about how I could grow my money. You know, as someone in my mid-30s, I ought to have a healthy sum stashed away for rainy days, right? The next thought that came to my mind was: Hmm . . . maybe I should cut back on my giving.
In the parable of the shrewd manager (Luke 16:1), the biggest surprise comes when the master—a man who had just been “ripped off” by his manager—praises him. Why? He “had to admire” the wily worker! (v.8). Certainly not for the good that he had brought his master, nor for the ethical aspects of his deed, but simply for the shrewdness that he had displayed.
The meaning of the Greek word for shrewd is “to act with foresight.” In other words, he was commended for acting decisively in the present to position himself well for the future.
We, like the shrewd manager, are stewards. God gave us custody of certain resources for a time. Are we using our resources wisely for things that will last in eternity? One way to do so is to “make friends” with those who will gratefully greet us in heaven (v.9). For example, we could use our money to buy a Bible for someone, donate to a well-digging project for those who need water, or support a missionary.
Jesus continued His teaching on money in verses 10 to 14. Unlike the dishonest steward, we are to be faithful stewards (vv.10-12), and money must never become our god. We must serve God alone (vv.13-14).
May we be shrewd and faithful stewards as we manage our savings and expenditures and investments. Hudson Taylor reminds us, “A little thing is a little thing; but faithfulness in a little thing is a great thing.”
—Poh Fang Chia
Read Ecclesiastes 5:10 for additional insights on stewardship from a man who possessed immense wealth.
What are some practical ways your money could be used for eternal goals? How has your money management revealed either self-interest or a heart for serving God’s interests?