The first part of chapter 16 is subtitled, “The Unrighteous Steward” in my NASB. At first glance it might appear that God is congratulating the dishonest man for his ingenuity, then telling us to be more like him. (8-9) Is God really saying it’s ok to cheat people if our intentions are good?
I read several commentaries this morning trying to get a handle on this parable, and the interpretations are widely varied. So I’ve sat here for a few minutes considering all the opinions, and asking God to show me what He wants me to know today. This is my take-away:
God has entrusted His people with the riches of His glory. He gave us His only Son, gave us access to the Throne Room, and has opened the doors of Paradise to us. He has given us Himself. The riches we hold cannot even be counted.
But we, like the dishonest steward, have squandered God’s riches. We continue to sin. We don’t always obey Him or share Him with unsaved friends and loved ones. We don’t always represent Him well in the workplace or at the ballgame. We take our salvation for granted, even though we know what it cost Jesus to give it to us.
I think God would have us consider the fact that, whenever we squander an opportunity to use the riches of His glory, we have lost that opportunity forever. We will never get yesterday back.
The steward in the parable didn’t continue to squander the master’s riches. In fact, he made opportunities to serve his master. The steward didn’t wait for the people to come to him. He sought them out.
And that’s my take-away. I stand here before you a dishonest steward. I have to admit that there have been way too many times I have not protected or used that which God has entrusted to me.
I stand before God and ask Him to forgive me, to show me opportunities to serve Him. I don’t want to sit in my recliner today when there are people I know and love who need to see Him in me. Maybe I need to have lunch with one of them this afternoon, or pick up the phone to reconnect with another.
I hold in my heart the riches of God’s glory. Am I going to waste it, or use it for His sake? I can beat myself up about lost opportunities, or I can forget what is behind and press on toward the goal of being a good steward of God’s riches.
I know that there is more to this parable than what I’ve shared today. There are more lessons to learn from these verses. But that dishonest steward has convicted me today. If he can get on the ball and work for his master, I have so many more reasons to get out there and work for mine.