Are You Worthy of Trust?
Message No. 0676 | Twitter @GodandUs | www.wisdom-speaks.ca
The parable of the shrewd manager (Luke 16:1-12) was the story of a guy who was put in charge of a business by a rich man, but who was wasting the master’s resources. When he was reported to the owner and he was confronted and told to give account and thereafter would not be manager anymore, the guy planned to secure his future by using his master’s resources to favor those who were owing his employer, so when he is fired, he would have friends (among the favored) who would welcome him and take care of him. He would execute his plan by asking the debtors to change the amounts they were owing on their invoices so they would pay lower amounts, thereby defrauding the master in favor of the customers. How shrewd!
Jesus concluded this parable by saying, in Luke 16:10-12:
“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. 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?
We may all read the story of this manager and think to ourselves, ‘what a shrewd man,’ however, if we think briefly about what goes on today in our midst as Christians, it might not be far before we see striking similarities between the manager and our friends and brethren. The first time I considered it even thinkable that a brother or sister would embezzle funds in their workplace was decades ago when a well-known brother was accused of this crime and got fired in his workplace. My first reaction when I heard the story was ‘impossible,’ but apparently, it was. From that moment on, I have heard too many of the same behavior at work, with some so deliberately doing it that they say to themselves and others, ‘what is it, is it not to be arrested and to sleep in jail for some days, when I come out, I will enjoy my money.’
Most people that I know aspire to be rich or, at least, comfortable, lacking nothing that they desire. However, not many are willing to wait and work faithfully and gradually build wealth. The youth generation is even far worse than their parents. Everyone wants to get rich quickly, and building sustainable wealth is a process too slow for them to follow. But as God’s children one question should always ring in our hearts when we have goals to meet. The question is, how can I do this the biblical way? How can I achieve this goal in the way that is approved by God?
If you are put in charge of a small project and you refuse to do it faithfully and with dedication just because your mates are already occupying higher positions, the question is, who will promote you to the higher position when you have not proved that you can handle the small project? It is possible that those whom you graduated with are now big guys and you are still an executive assistant in your workplace, but if you do not do your job well and all you are doing is being grudgy, and exhibiting outward unhappiness, even the little position you have might be taken away from you because there are not many managers out there who want to work with unhappy people.
Decades ago, I nursed the idea of partnering with someone who was working in a good hotel restaurant, to start a restaurant of our own. The plan was for me to raise funds and join with whatever he had and with his experience, we could start something. Then one day he came to my office with a bunch of very nicely looking cutlery and showed them to me. Where did you find these, I asked, only to be told that he took them from his current workplace. I was so scared and that was the end of that ambition. How would anyone start a business with stolen resources and pray to God to bless them and help them succeed?
Jesus asked His disciples, if you have not been trustworthy with someone else’s property, who will give you a property of your own? Some people believe that they can handle other people’s businesses or properties anyhow and they continue to pray for God to give them their own businesses or properties. Some tenants use their landlords’ properties anyhow, damaging items here and there and using the homes recklessly, and at the same time praying that God would make them landlords in the future.
If we want God to bless and promote us, we must constantly ask ourselves, how are we faring with the assignments that are committed into our hands? How are we using the properties or resources that are committed to us? Can our landlords visit us and thank us for using their properties excellently well or will they go out praying for God to eject us from their homes? Can our managers in the office pray for us and fight for our promotions or will they actually oppose any move to promote us?
Jesus also asked His disciples, if you have not been trustworthy in handling worldly wealth, who will trust you with true riches? True riches in this case can be interpreted to mean things of the kingdom. Many are fighting to be promoted to positions of deacons and pastors in the church. Some would say they have been in the church for many years and people who came after them have been recognized and promoted over them. We must begin by asking ourselves if we have been trustworthy in our workplaces and in businesses that we run, because if we cheat other people or if we are lackadaisical in these areas like the shrewd manager in Jesus’ parable did, how could God hand positions of authority to us in the church?
Question: can you be trusted? Can your manager trust you? Can he or she go on vacation knowing that you would do your best to keep the business going? Can your landlord trust you to not run down his or her investment? Can your pastor trust you? If he or she travels and is not available to preach on Sunday, can he or she happily ask you to mount the pulpit and preach or would they be scared that you may scatter the church before they return? We all need to evaluate our attitudes to both earthly and spiritual assignments and ask ourselves the important question: are we worthy of trust?
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PLEASE ACT NOW: If you are yet to give your life to Christ, you do not have a covenant with God and His promises do not apply to you. To come under these promises, please surrender your life to Christ today, by praying this prayer: Lord I know that I am a sinner and I am unable to save myself. I am sorry for my sins and I pray that you please forgive me. I am aware that Your Son Jesus died for my sins and I accept Him as my Lord and savior. I surrender my life unto you from this moment. Please take control of my entire being and help me to be obedient to your Word, going forward. Thank you, Lord, for hearing me. I have prayed in Jesus’ name. Amen. If you prayed the foregoing prayer, you have just been born again. Please find a Bible believing church in your area and ask to see the pastor. Let him or her know that you have just given your life to Christ and s/he will guide you on next steps in your journey as a child of God. The Lord bless you!