Sunday, September 18, 2022

Luke 16:1-13

Jesus told a story to his apprentices, "Once upon a time a certain wealthy tycoon caught wind of the fact that his live-in estate manager was abusing the company credit card -- big time. 2 So he summoned the manager to his office, read him the riot act, and told him they were doing an audit on the account.

3 “The manager could read the writing on the wall and fell into a deep funk. 'I'm too old to do manual labor and I can't afford to take an entry-level position. Besides, who'd hire me?' he mused. 4 But suddenly he got an idea that involved ingratiating several customers so they'd feel obligated to house and care for him once he was fired.

5 “One by one, the manager sent for the people who owed his boss money. To the first he said, ‘Remind me of how much you owe.’ 6 The man replied, ‘$900,000.’ The unscrupulous manager told him, ‘This is your lucky day. The boss needs to add some tax write-offs so I've decided to reduce your debt to $450,000.'  7 Then the manager said to another, ‘How much do you owe?’ He replied, ‘$100,000.’ The manager fed him a similar story and wrote off $20,000 of this man's debt.’

8 “Now, you're probably thinking that the boss was infuriated when he found out about the shenanigans of his crooked manager -- but he was surprisingly amused by his resourcefulness.

"So," said Jesus, "isn't it interesting that the worldly people are more motivated and resourceful as they milk their relationships than are the people who are agents of the light. 9 Listen up, you should be developing and leveraging relationships so that once everything you have in life is gone you'll find a warm welcome into eternal homes.

10 “Note the principle of continuity. The person who can be trusted with small matters can be trusted with more responsibility. Likewise, the person who cuts small corners and is untrustworthy in the little things will end up doing the same if he's ever given charge over more. 11 IOW, if you are untrustworthy in the way that you deal with the wealth that belongs to the world, who'll trust you with the riches that really matter? 12 If you've been untrustworthy with someone else’s property don't expect them to give you property of your own. 

13 Likewise, a domestic servant can realistically only serve one household and boss. If you try otherwise you'll be constantly comparing them and end up loathing one while you love the other. Your loyalties will be divided and you'll be committed to one while you're detached from the other. You simply can't serve God while you're a slave to building your financial portfolio.”