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Lessons from the parable of the dishonest steward

Let’s read about the parable of the dishonest steward which was mentioned by Jesus in Luke 16:1-13:

1 [Jesus] also said to his disciples, ‘There was a rich man and he had a steward who was denounced to him for being wasteful with his property.

2 He called for the man and said, “What is this I hear about you? Draw me up an account of your stewardship because you are not to be my steward any longer.”

3 Then the steward said to himself, “Now that my master is taking the stewardship from me, what am I to do? Dig? I am not strong enough. Go begging? I should be too ashamed.

4 Ah, I know what I will do to make sure that when I am dismissed from office there will be some to welcome me into their homes.”

5 ‘Then he called his master’s debtors one by one. To the first he said, “How much do you owe my master?”

6 “One hundred measures of oil,” he said. The steward said, “Here, take your bond; sit down and quickly write fifty.”

7 To another he said, “And you, sir, how much do you owe?” “One hundred measures of wheat,” he said. The steward said, “Here, take your bond and write eighty.”

8 ‘The master praised the dishonest steward for his astuteness. For the children of this world are more astute in dealing with their own kind than are the children of light.’

9 ‘And so I tell you this: use money, tainted as it is, to win you friends, and thus make sure that when it fails you, they will welcome you into eternal dwellings.

10 Anyone who is trustworthy in little things is trustworthy in great; anyone who is dishonest in little things is dishonest in great.

11 If then you are not trustworthy with money, that tainted thing, who will trust you with genuine riches?

12 And if you are not trustworthy with what is not yours, who will give you what is your very own?

13 ‘No servant can be the slave of two masters: he will either hate the first and love the second, or be attached to the first and despise the second. You cannot be the slave both of God and of money.’

Jesus was well aware of the sinful behaviors of the people, especially towards the use of money. He knew that some sinners are sly enough to avoid a nasty outcome due to being caught in their sins. However he wanted to highlight that even if a sinner seemingly escapes punishment while on earth, there’s no such escape in the afterlife. No wonder Jesus used this parable to rebuke the love of money which leads to sin and which in turn leads to punishment in hell forever. This is also a calling by Jesus to give up all greed towards money and give up all dishonesty even those that might seem small sins.

Here are a few lessons we can learn from this parable:

  1. You are accountable for whatever has been entrusted to you, so do not misuse things for you will need to given account for it. For example, this can be money, resources, privileges etc.
  2. Even while on earth its possible for sinners to be asked by the earthly authorities to give an account for their sins and face the due consequences.
  3. The eternal consequences of your sin will take you to hell unless you repent in the name of Jesus.
  4. The children of this world are more astute in dealing with their own kind than are the children of light. Therefore a child of light must learn to interact in a wise and holy way with another child of light instead of avoiding each other for the sake of it.
  5. Even if sinners are able to get favorable outcomes in their dealings with fellow sinners, they will only end up increasing their punishment and fellow friends to accompany them in hell.
  6. Money that is gotten by dishonest means will eventually fail you.
  7. Anyone who is trustworthy in little things is trustworthy in great; anyone who is dishonest in little things is dishonest in great.
  8. If then you are not trustworthy with money, that tainted thing, who will trust you with genuine riches?
  9. And if you are not trustworthy with what is not yours, who will give you what is your very own?
  10. No servant can be the slave of two masters: he will either hate the first and love the second, or be attached to the first and despise the second. You cannot be the slave both of God and of money

Those who love God should never partake in avarice nor covetousness

Praise be to the Lord God, who created the heavens and the earth and all that which dwell in it. To God belong all riches and glory and adoration.

There are people who think they have made it in life, apparently. They believe that their material wealth and fortunes is the be all and end all of their life. Little do they care for others, let alone the condition of their own hearts. For their souls are only in a tizzy about aquire more and more riches and still not satisfied with their wealth.

Some of these people then resort to illegal and unethical tactics to get more money for themselves at the cost of the peace and happiness of their friends and family and also their coworkers and servant’s. While the other’s don’t do any evil methods to get more wealth but they do this ethically but in an obsessive manner. So what’s common between the former and latter types of people is both have made gods of their cravings for possessions, the very thing the the Lord Jesus warned his disciples about.

And Jesus said to them, “Take care, and be on your guard against all covetousness, for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions.” (Luke 12:15)

Those who are using wicked ways to illegally get riches will surely fall if not in life then in after life. Scammers once caught are put in jail. More so worse is a massive jail that holds the souls of those whose hearts only served money rather than the Lord God. This is an enternal penitentiary called as the Lake of Fire in which all sinners will be cast into when they’re judged by God!

The righteous also shall see, and fear, and shall laugh at him, [saying,] Behold the man that made not God his strength, but put confidence in the abundance of his riches, [and] strengthened himself in his avarice. (Psalm 52:6-7)

The best way to avoid temptation to such excessive greed or avarice is to not associate with people who are into it. If you are in the company of such people they might directly or indirectly into their sinful ways. Beware O believer in Jesus for you have been warned!

But what I meant was that you were not to associate with any one bearing the name of “brother,” if he was addicted to fornication or avarice or idol-worship or abusive language or hard-drinking or greed of gain. With such a man you ought not even to eat. (1 Corinthians 5:11)

Love Jesus Christ more than anything so that keep away from the love of money. For if you continue to hold on to the Lord God then the Lord will continue to abide with you.

Keep your life free from love of money, and be content with what you have, for he has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you. (Hebrews 13:5)

Christ be with you!

Suggested articles:

The Snare of the Love of Money

Let us watch against the love of money. It is a snare to the poor as well as to the rich. It is not so much the having money, as the trusting in it, which ruins the soul. Let us pray for contentment with such things as we have. The highest wisdom is to be of one mind with Paul, “I have learned, in whatever state I am, therewith to be content.” (Phil. 4:11.) ~ J.C. Ryle

Does your love for money control you?

never overate moneyThe world glorifies achievers. Nothing wrong with being an achiever of good things in life. But where the world is in error is where it proclaims the pursuit of money as the end all be all of life. A person who climbs up the Seven Summits is usually given a great deal of respect. However, what’s odd is there’s still even greater respect for those who are billionaires as if they climbed a thousand summits. People will try to verify if a mountaineer used drugs or other illegal methods to cope up with the tough climb but avoid checking if a billionaire is ethical in his pursuit of profits.

I always like doing great things for my country. There are those who shine well in athletics and sports for their fatherland. Some show respect for their nation by doing business and earning lots of revenue and then donating to charity. Others who are a despicable lot, end up being traitors to their own nation for blood diamonds and money. So money itself is neutral, it’s your attitude towards it and your actions to get it which prove whether you are for good or for evil. That is why you must curb your passion towards gaining wealth and instead concentrate on God who gives you the good things of his Kingdom.

God gives you the ability to get money

Now Isaac sowed in that land and reaped in the same year a hundredfold. And the LORD blessed him, and the man became rich, and continued to grow richer until he became very wealthy; for he had possessions of flocks and herds and a great household, so that the Philistines envied him. (Genesis 26:12-14)

You shall remember the Lord your God, for it is he who gives you power to get wealth, that he may confirm his covenant that he swore to your fathers, as it is this day. (Deuteronomy 8:18)

The blessing of the LORD makes rich, and he adds no sorrow with it. (Proverbs 10:22)

Understand why the love of money is evil

But those who want to be rich fall into temptation, a trap, and many foolish and harmful desires, which plunge people into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil, and by craving it, some have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many pains. (1 Timothy 6:9-10)

As for what was sown among thorns, this is the one who hears the word, but the cares of the world and the deceitfulness of riches choke the word, and it proves unfruitful. (Matthew 13:22)

The greedy bring ruin to their households, but the one who hates bribes will live. (Proverbs 15:27)

Put no trust in extortion; set no vain hopes on robbery; if riches increase, set not your heart on them. (Psalm 62:10)

So avoid the love of money

“No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money. (Matthew 6:24)

If you have lots of money don’t put your hope in it

Those who trust in their riches will fall, but the righteous will thrive like a green leaf. (Proverbs 11:28)

As for the rich in this present age, charge them not to be haughty, nor to set their hopes on the uncertainty of riches, but on God, who richly provides us with everything to enjoy.They are to do good, to be rich in good works, to be generous and ready to share,thus storing up treasure for themselves as a good foundation for the future, so that they may take hold of that which is truly life.( 1 Timothy 6:17-19)

Always remember..

Keep your lives free from the love of money, and be content with what you have, for God has said, “I will never leave you or abandon you.” (Hebrews 13:5)

Prayer:  O Lord Jesus, I pray that I be set free from the love of money. Let me have the right attitude towards money. Give me the wisdom to only use righteous ways to obtain wealth. Give me sufficient money to provide for my family and community. Direct me to the poor and needy and church ministries that reach out to preach to unbelievers, so that I may bless them with both my finances and prayers for them. Thank you God, thank you Jesus, thank you Holy Spirit. Amen.

Further reading: Matthew 6:1-6, Matthew 6:16-21.

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