As a kid I was a rather shrewd financial investor. I had a substantial and well diversified portfolio of investments. I made sure to do my research before purchasing anything new. I was cautious before selling or trading away any of my investments. I would also carefully watch the value to make sure my portfolio was trending in the right direction. Overall, I was quite proud of my growing investments. The only problem, these investments turned out to not be very good. The reason? They were baseball cards. And since I was a kid I didn’t have the ability to purchase cards that possessed true value like Mantle or Ruth. So, I settled for Ken Griffey Jr., Nolan Ryan, and Rickey Henderson.
In Luke 16 Jesus tells a parable that highlights the shrewdness of a particular manager. Following the illustration Jesus provides us with the purpose of this parable. Jesus notes that often non-Christians are more shrewd than Christians (verse 8). His point is that non-Christians are often more careful, shrewd, calculated, and concerned about their material possessions. Christians on the other hand are at times less thoughtful, concerned, and intentional with the resources that God has entrusted to them.
Jesus’ point is pretty clear. As followers of Jesus we have a different perspective on the resources we are given in this life. We know that money will fail us. We know that it cannot satisfy us. We know that we cannot serve both God and money.
This is not to say that money is inherently evil. But it does make a horrible god. And so, the question becomes how will we use our money? How will we use the things that God has entrusted to us? Jesus is calling us to be shrewd and wise with the resources at our disposal. We are to invest them wisely.
How? By investing them in people and into things that will advance the Kingdom of God (verse 9). When we invest our time, our giftings, and our finances into ministry to others we are making an incredibly wise investment. When we support the mission of our local church to the community, the nation, and the world we are storing up for ourselves as well treasure in heaven (Matthew 6:19).
And throughout Scripture we are reminded again and again that this investment is worth it. It is worth it to see the lives of others changed. It is worth it to see God use us as a conduit through which His love is poured out into other people. It is worth it store up for ourselves a good foundation for the future (1 Timothy 6:19).
How is God calling you to steward what He has entrusted to you? How can you invest the blessings you have been given both shrewdly and wisely?