The Bible tells a story in Luke 16 of a rich man who enlisted a manager to take care of his property. When the manager was accused of mishandling his masterÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s money and was called in to give an account of his stewardship, the manager devised a plan. He knew he was going to lose his job but decided to make some friends who would take care of him when he was fired. So he summoned everyone who owed his master money and lowered their debt; if someone owed 800 gallons of olive oil, he told them to change their bill to 400 gallons.
When the master heard what he had done, he Ã¢â‚¬Å“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 lightÃ¢â‚¬Â (Luke 16:8 NLT).
In the parable, Jesus doesnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t praise the managerÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s dishonesty, but he does praise his shrewdness. What is shrewdness? To be shrewd means youÃ¢â‚¬â„¢re smart, strategic, and resourceful. You see a problem clearly, you know what needs to be done, and then you figure out how to do it. God wants you to learn how to be biblically shrewd with your money for the rest of your life.
From the story, we can learn four things that we shouldnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t do with our money.
- DonÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t waste your money.
Luke 16:1 says, Ã¢â‚¬Å“A report came that the manager was wasting his employerÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s moneyÃ¢â‚¬Â (NLT). Because everything you have belongs to God and is a gift from himÃ¢â‚¬â€including your moneyÃ¢â‚¬â€you have to be careful not to waste what belongs to your master.
- DonÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t love your money.
YouÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ve got to decide if God is going to be number one in your life or if making a lot of money will be your number one goal in life. You cannot make both your top priority.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“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 moneyÃ¢â‚¬Â (Luke 16:13 NLT).
- DonÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t trust your money.
I donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t care how much money youÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ve gotÃ¢â‚¬â€you can always lose it. The manager learned this pretty quickly in Luke 16:3: Ã¢â‚¬Å“Now what? My boss has fired meÃ¢â‚¬Â (NLT).
If you want to be secure, the center of your life has to be built around something that can never be taken from you. And thereÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s only one thing that you can never lose: GodÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s love for you.
- DonÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t expect your money to satisfy.
If you think having more will make you happier, more secure, or more valuable, you are seriously misguided, because money will never satisfy: Ã¢â‚¬Å“Those who love money will never have enough. How meaningless to think that wealth brings true happiness!Ã¢â‚¬Â (Ecclesiastes 5:10 NLT).
ThatÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s why Jesus says in Luke 12:15,Ã‚Â Ã¢â‚¬Å“Guard against every kind of greed. Life is not measured by how much you ownÃ¢â‚¬ÂÃ‚Â (NLT).