January 29, 2018

How You View Your Money Changes Everything

One of the things I love about the Bible is how applicable it is to our lives today. No matter who we are or what we have going on, the Bible speaks to us if we take some time to listen. One of the ways Jesus does this is by talking about our attitudes toward money.  

I might be the odd exception, but I love that the Bible teaches about money. We all deal with money every day, and it can be a huge temptation to care more about it than about our relationship with God. Recently, my spouse and I had a long talk about making some changes to our budget. Before we knew it, feelings were hurt and tempers had flared because money, even between two people who trust each other, can be a tricky thing. This week we’re reading from Luke, and there are several parables that mention and talk about money. One of them is Luke 16:1-18, which is the Parable of the Shrewd Manager. 

I think the word “shrewd” feels negative. My mind goes to a hard-nosed lawyer who is going to exploit his competitor’s weaknesses or customer’s ignorance. However, the definition of shrewd is “having or showing sharp powers of judgment; astute.” In this story, “shrewd” is literally translated “to act with foresight.” The money manager acts in a way that is forward thinking. He possesses something to be admired: shrewdness. 

Jesus is telling this story because He wants us to be shrewd in this life so that we can make an impact for His purposes in eternal life.  

Luke 16:9 says, “Here’s the lesson: Use your worldly resources to benefit others and make friends…” 

He continues in verse 13: “No one can serve two masters. For you will hate one and love the other; you will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and be enslaved to money.”  

Another way of saying it?  

We should live like everything we are or own belongs to God and should be used accordingly. 

Can we take a moment and acknowledge how hard this is? It’s hard to act with foresight. It’s hard to be intentional. It’s hard to think ahead. It’s very hard to be shrewd in the little things, let alone the big things. 

Still, every circumstance we’re in, every relationship we’re in, every part of our financial situation belongs to God and should be used to benefit His purposes. 

Where is God asking you to be shrewd today?  

Heavenly Father, being shrewd doesn’t always come naturally to us. Help us. Guide us. Where are You asking us to be uniquely shrewd? Give us the awareness to be faithful and act upon the opportunities You’ve laid before us. Thank You for Your example through Christ. Thank You for the love You show us through being shrewd on our behalf. Help us to respond to You today. We love You. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.