Joshua 8:1-9:2; Luke 16:1-9; Psalms 82:6-8; Proverbs 20:1
NT: “Now he said to the disciples, “There was a rich man who received an accusation that his manager was squandering his possessions. So he called the manager in and asked, ‘What is this I hear about you? Give an account of your management, because you can no longer be my manager.’ “Then the manager said to himself, ‘What will I do since my master is taking the management away from me? I’m not strong enough to dig; I’m ashamed to beg. I know what I’ll do so that when I’m removed from management, people will welcome me into their homes.’ “So he summoned each one of his master’s debtors. ‘How much do you owe my master? ’ he asked the first one. “‘A hundred measures of olive oil,’ he said. “‘Take your invoice,’ he told him, ‘sit down quickly, and write fifty.’ “Next he asked another, ‘How much do you owe?’ “‘A hundred measures of wheat,’ he said. “‘Take your invoice,’ he told him, ‘and write eighty.’ “The master praised the unrighteous manager because he had acted shrewdly. For the children of this age are more shrewd than the children of light in dealing with their own people. And I tell you, make friends for yourselves by means of worldly wealth so that when it fails, they may welcome you into eternal dwellings.”” (Luke 16:1-9 CSB)
The title of manager in this story is translated as steward in other translations. A steward is someone who manages another’s wealth. The wealth is not the steward’s, but he has the privilege of enjoying the benefits of that wealth provided that he manage that wealth, not for his own purposes, but for the purposes and ultimate benefit of the owner. The steward in this story apparently forgot that he was a steward and began acting like an owner, wasting his master’s wealth for his own pleasures and purposes. When the steward was found out, he had to account for everything that he had done before being fired. With a small window of opportunity to make things right, the steward instead made use of that opportunity to cushion the blow of his own demise. The master didn’t commend the steward for robbing him. He commended the steward for taking the initiative to seize the opportunity. Disciples of Jesus and citizens of the kingdom are called to be both faithful stewards of kingdom resources and people who make wise use of the opportunities given to them. Faithful stewardship goes beyond tithing your income. Tithing is just the beginning. Faithfully stewarding the resources that our Lord and Master entrusts to us involves wisely investing all our time, treasure, and talent for the purposes of the King and the Kingdom. We are also called to redeem the time, not waste time. We are people created for the times that we are in. We have been stewarded opportunities in these days to represent the King and the Kingdom and see souls saved and disciples made. The “children of this age” are masters at leveraging opportunity for their own gain. We, as children of the kingdom and children of light, are called to wisely use the worldly resources we have been entrusted with and the opportunities we have been given to establish and increase the Kingdom eternally.