Luke 16:8-13 NLT Parable of The Shrewd Manager
8 “The rich man had to admire the dishonest rascal for being so shrewd. And it is true that the children of this world are more shrewd in dealing with the world around them than are the children of the light. 9 Here’s the lesson: Use your worldly resources to benefit others and make friends. Then, when your possessions are gone, they will welcome you to an eternal home. 10 “If you are faithful in little things, you will be faithful in large ones. But if you are dishonest in little things, you won’t be honest with greater responsibilities. 11 And if you are untrustworthy about worldly wealth, who will trust you with the true riches of heaven? 12 And if you are not faithful with other people’s things, why should you be trusted with things of your own? 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.”
Some years ago, we bought and gave some hectares of paddy land to a church. We prayed that it will feed the church and the needy community when hard economic times come. All thanks and glory to God that the offering has now become the bridge to reaching out to the community of other faiths and winning them for Christ our Lord as we were told. Recently these inhabitants faced economic hardship and our stock of some dozen tons of rice went a long way to alleviate the hardship. Besides, we offer to help to mill their rice for just 10% of their produce.
We believed then that we ought to do good to one another while we could. We took the exhortation of our Lord to be like the Shrewd Manager in benefiting others first and making friends while we had the ability to do so.
We also believed that our initial help to others will surely come back to help ourselves one day in one way or another.
The hard economic times will come as the world continues her irrational exuberance without learning the lesson in 2001 and 2008 crises and the bubble now is probably 10 times or more larger. Should we find ourselves in lack one day, we can look forward to the churches whom we have helped in the past.
2 Cor 8 :11-14
11 Now you should finish what you started. Let the eagerness you showed in the beginning be matched now by your giving. Give in proportion to what you have. 12 Whatever you give is acceptable if you give it eagerly. And give according to what you have, not what you don’t have. 13 Of course, I don’t mean your giving should make life easy for others and hard for yourselves. I only mean that there should be some equality. 14 Right now you have plenty and can help those who are in need. Later, they will have plenty and can share with you when you need it. In this way, things will be equal.