Read Luke 16:10-12.
Jesus was telling his disciples a parable. It’s an unusual one about a manager who was getting fired for being wasteful. Before others learned of his demise, he cut deals with the owner’s clients in order to gain their favor. When his boss found out, he was actually impressed with his shrewdness.
Even Jesus says we need to be wise in how we use worldly wealth. God can use earthly means to give us favor in the eyes of those who need to hear the Gospel. It’s a good reminder that the workplace is an important avenue for witness.
That’s why Jesus talks about the importance of trust.
Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much, and whoever is dishonest with very little will also be dishonest with much.
But what if I’m not honest in my work, and I end up being the one who gets fired like the wasteful manager?
Jesus gives the answer:
So if you have not been trustworthy in handling worldly wealth, who will trust you with true riches? And if you have not been trustworthy with someone else’s property, who will give you property of your own?
How we live and work in this world today directly affects not only our witness to those around us, but our future work for the Kingdom of God.
The manager did not appreciate the true value of possessions. He wasted them. That’s why he got fired. The Pharisees, who were listening to Jesus, (and loved money, according to verse 14) valued money, but more than they valued God.
As followers of Jesus, we damage our witness both by being wasteful (even if we don’t have much) and by putting the earning, saving, or spending of money above God.
How am I using my money, or the earning thereof, for the Kingdom? Do my colleagues at work see me as a workaholic or person who spends beyond their means? Or, do they see me as a generous friend, a person who cares for the poor, someone who can say no to work in order to go on a short-term mission trip?
Can I be trusted? Does Jesus trust me with worldly wealth in order to bless others? Do I trust myself?
What about you?