All my oars in the water….

Luke 16:1~ And he said also unto his disciples, There was a certain rich man, which had a steward; and the same was accused unto him that he had wasted his goods.

A modern day version of the unjust steward. An executive is called into the bosses office and accused of misappropriating funds, he’s been skimming money from the boss. He’s given the opportunity to defend himself, but is obviously guilty for he does not protest the accusation, but begins to ponder unemployment. “I cannot dig” he’s an executive, that’s a laborer’s job. He cannot beg in an Armani suit for cryin’ out loud! So what’s a fellow to do?

He goes to people who owe the company money, and what would have normally been his profit or commission from collecting their sales, he knocks that off the top in order to get them to pay and to gain favor from them so that in his hour of need they’ll help him out, (he’s about to be fired!) perhaps offer him a job, or at least a place to stay when he loses his house. He obviously did not take more profit from his boss when he took money off what the people had owed, because in verse 8 it says “And the lord commended the unjust steward, because he had done wisely: for the children of this world are in their generation wiser than the children of light.” His lord would not have commended him if he had cost him more money. So obviously the money lost was that of the unjust steward.

A strange lesson, but a valuable one to the church on stewardship.

God has given us a wealth of resources in the church. Every soul that commits to Christ has a gift to offer for service. Every soul! No one is excluded. But we’re wasting it… myself included.

I’ve been struggling lately to keep all my oars moving the same direction. Sometimes I find myself out in the middle of the lake of life going around in circles because one of my oars isn’t moving at all! I am assuming you understand the boat analogy. If you only paddle on one side of your boat, your boat begins to turn. I remember that from my days of john boat riding on the Elk River in Braxton, WV. The same theory holds true if your life is out of balance and we’re not making the most of our resources.

It pricked my heart when I re ad that the “children of the world are wiser than the children of light?” Shrewd business people know how to make the most of their resources. They use everything and everyone they have at their disposal to make a profit and further their goal. Why shouldn’t we? God has given me everything I need and then some to live a balanced and successful life. He placed people in my path to help me, and I’ve failed to. He’s given me talents and tools, and yet I don’t use them for fear of failure. If I was truly trusting in God for everything in my life I’d use everything I have without hesitation knowing that He intended it for my good and His glory. We tend to separate our lives into home/career/church, when in reality it’s our life. Do they not all belong to God?

Jesus told His parents at the age of 12 when they had misplaced Him on their journey Luke 2:49 I must be about my Father’s business.” He knew then that there was a great work to do, and He knew it was going to get done.

The parable of the unjust steward ends with a stern warning from Christ in verse 11-13 ~ If therefore ye have not been faithful in the unrighteous mammon, who will commit to your trust the true riches.  And if ye have not been faithful in that which is another man’s, who shall give you that which is your own? No servant can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.

Nothing we have on this earth belongs to us. To separate any part of our life is saying that part of it belongs to God, and the other to us. That’s not balance! Balance required equality and the only way we can be equal is to be in Him. The steward learned to give God His share, and share any excess with those he served, counting on his Lord to take care of him. Such a great story! I could learn…

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