We started with a parable that I was a little stumped by initially, but found some interesting resource related thoughts be the time class wrapped up.
Chapter 16, vs 1-15 tells of a slave who shrewdly uses what he has (access to the master's financial records) to make some friends by cutting all their debts in half in effort to increase his networking potential in the event his master gives him the boot. The master is actually impressed with the dude's "dishonesty" ...the scripture didnt specify if he let him keep his job or not, but he did "commend" him :)
First, I had to be reminded (by my sweet hubby) that the "master" here is not our master. Second, I had to be reminded that we are talking about a slave here ..someone who has no resources of his own, but has to use what he has access to.
Third, I made a powerful connection myself when we started talking about how Jesus was encouraging his disciples to be shrewd in the way they use what they have (he specified "worldy wealth"). Our teacher lead us in to a discussion about how our worldly wealth can be all of our resources - our homes, our time, energy, reputation, and other things..along with finances.
Of course, you can be sure my ears perked up to that! :)
In verses 10-11, Jesus states "whoever can be trusted with very little can be trusted with much, and whoever will be dishonest with little will be dishonest with much..So if you you have not been trustworthy in handling worldly wealth, who will trust you to with true riches?"
Thinking of this challenge in light of the resources that we have been given "access" to ...what a challenge it is! Having the resources that we do, given to us to manage but not our own, we are expected and encourage to use them for the benefit of our master. When we have done so, we are trusted with more. When we do not, we cannot be trusted with more.
One thing that I realized this week, is that I feel that when I manage what I have well - truly trying to use all the resources at my disposal for His glory, then it seems I do have more to give for the benefit of His glory!
When I manage my finances well, we are freed up to bless others through financial giving. When I manage my time, choosing to use it on the things that are bring glory to God (or work toward the purpose he has called me to today) then I find I have more time to give to other things that God has given me to do.
We have access to so much abundance ...as the shrewd manager, we must be purposeful in how we manage our master's resources. Unlike him, we must determine to use them for the benefit of the master and not ourselves ...then we will be deemed trustworthy, and will be "welcomed into eternal dwellings." vs. 9
Welcome ifellowshippers ..so glad you are here!