Everyone desires security for their future. But how many of us really plan for it? Not just in terms of life here on earth, but in terms of eternity?
This story Jesus tells is a very unusual one, because he uses an evil man to illustrate a point on how we should live.
This man had apparently been embezzling money from his employer, and his employer called him to account for it. As a result, the man was going to lose his job. He got his “30 days notice” and during that time, he fretted about what he could do to secure his future. He didn’t want to do hard manual labor, nobody was going to hire him for white collar work after being fired for embezzlement, and he didn’t want to beg.
So he made a plan. He lowered the debt of those who owed his employer money so that when he was fired, they would welcome him into their homes and take care of him.
The weird thing? His employer commended him for looking out for his own future. (After which he undoubtedly said, “Now, get lost!”)
Jesus then said,
For the people of this world are more shrewd in dealing with their own kind than are the people of the light. (8)
In other words, non-Christians are often very shrewd in how they use their money and position to deal with people and so secure their future. How much more as Christians, should we use the money and positions we have to secure ours? Again, I’m not simply speaking in terms of life here on earth, but in terms of eternity.
This man used his position to gain friends that would welcome him when he entered the next stage of his life. In the same way, Jesus said,
I tell you, use worldly wealth to gain friends for yourselves, so that when it is gone, you will be welcomed into eternal dwellings. (9)
What is Jesus saying here? Use the resources God has given you to win people into His Kingdom. For if you do, when you reach heaven, and all the money you earned is but dust on this earth, all the people you reached with the gospel will welcome you there. More than that, Jesus himself will welcome you, and say, “Well done, good and faithful servant.”
But if you use your money solely to indulge yourself, no one will be there to meet you when you reach heaven. And when Jesus comes to meet you, he will call you to account for all you’ve done. What will be left of all you accomplished on earth when he does? As Paul said,
If any man builds on this foundation using gold, silver, costly stones, wood, hay or straw, his work will be shown for what it is, because the Day will bring it to light. It will be revealed with fire, and the fire will test the quality of each man’s work. If what he has built survives, he will receive his reward. If it is burned up, he will suffer loss; he himself will be saved, but only as one escaping through the flames. (I Corinthians 3:12-15)
How about you? What kind of life are you securing for yourself?