The Relationship Workaround
Intro: My Dad took us to Hawaii because he knew it was all gone.
He invested in his relationship with his wife and kids while he had the money.
1 Jesus told his disciples: “There was a rich man whose manager was accused of wasting his possessions. 2 So he called him in and asked him, ‘What is this I hear about you? Give an account of your management, because you cannot be manager any longer.’
3 “The manager said to himself, ‘What shall I do now? My master is taking away my job. I’m not strong enough to dig, and I’m ashamed to beg—
4 I know what I’ll do so that, when I lose my job here, people will welcome me into their houses.’
First, “the writing was on the wall”, he knew he would loose his job.
He had to come up with a “workaround”.
“I’m in charge for the moment.”
1. This situation won’t last
5 “So he called in each one of his master’s debtors. He asked the first, ‘How much do you owe my master?’
6 “‘Nine hundred gallons of olive oil,’ he replied.
“The manager told him, ‘Take your bill, sit down quickly, and make it four hundred and fifty.’
7 “Then he asked the second, ‘And how much do you owe?’
“‘A thousand bushels of wheat,’ he replied.
“He told him, ‘Take your bill and make it eight hundred.’
“Quickly!” - Urgent
Jesus is impressing on them a sense of URGENCY.
Have you ever heard a teaching or felt a nudge from God only to have it supplemented with the thought,”Well, maybe later… first thing next year.”
2. Wisdom re-evaluates and takes action
Why wait? (x4)
If not here, where?
If not now, when?
All of us are being told we will loose our jobs, have to turn in the keys, clean out the office, give up the company car, and expense account here on earth, but for the moment, we’re employed.
8 “The master commended the dishonest manager because he had acted shrewdly. For the people of this world are more shrewd in dealing with their own kind than are the people of the light. 9 I tell you, use worldly wealth to gain friends for yourselves, so that when it is gone, you will be welcomed into eternal dwellings.
Dishonest? Maybe unjust. He gave away someone else’s property.
Shrewd? This guy knew people. It was illegal but it would work.
“I made my money the old-fashioned way. I was very nice to a wealthy relative right before he died.” -Malcolm Forbes
Ever heard of a “workaround” ?
Then again… “One in the hand is better than 2 in the bush.”
“…when I lose my job here, people will welcome me into their houses.”
“When”, not “If”…
My Dad’s “workaround” was to bless his family while he still could.
Now he’s gone…
I tell you, use worldly wealth to gain friends for yourselves, so that when it is gone, you will be welcomed into eternal dwellings.
3. Worldly wealth can be used to a heavenly advantage.
“…welcomed into eternal dwellings?”
There will be surprises when we get to heaven.
10 “Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much, and whoever is dishonest with very little will also be dishonest with much.
11 So if you have not been trustworthy in handling worldly wealth, who will trust you with true riches? 12 And if you have not been trustworthy with someone else’s property, who will give you property of your own?
If you’re honest with $10, you’ll be honest with $10,000,000. And vice versa.
The Next Big Thing: Be faithful with little and more will come.
Worldly = little, temporal, fickle, or false riches), someone else’s property.
Heaven = much, true riches, property of your own.
In 100 years, someone else will have your money. Who will it be?
The wise person converts earthly wealth to heavenly riches while there is time.
4. Material practices reveal spiritual priorities.
13 “No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other.
You cannot serve both God and money.”
Where do I stand?
What are the signs? How can I tell?
Are you content with what God has given you today, right now?
6 But godliness with contentment is great gain. 7 For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it. 8 But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that. 9 Those who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction. 10 For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.
1 Timothy 6:6-10
In other words, contentment or its lack bear real fruit in our lives.
5. Realigned priorities can’t stay theoretical.
So how do we overcome?
1) Let go of the desire to be rich. (no comparison)
2) Practice gratitude. (contentment)
3) Practice generosity. (proven in action)
Many people have fallen away because they lost sight of contentment.
Example: Judas loved money more than Jesus.
14 The Pharisees, who loved money, heard all this and were sneering at Jesus. 15 He said to them, “You are the ones who justify yourselves in the eyes of others, but God knows your hearts.
What people value highly is detestable in God’s sight.
“…because he taught as one who had authority, and not as their teachers of the law.” Matthew 7:29
** Note: Unseen sins remove spiritual authority. **
There’s nothing in between.
Either justified by men and condemned by God or the opposite.
“He who loses money, loses much; He who loses a friend, loses much more; He who loses faith, loses all." -Eleanor Roosevelt