We’re continuing our walk through Luke’s Gospel. Jesus is talking about having an eternal perspective rather than seeking after the temporary. He tells us that we need this view of the future if we’re to grow in our ministry.
“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. So if you have not been trustworthy in handling worldly wealth, who will trust you with true riches? And if you have not been trustworthy with someone else’s property, who will give you property of your own?”
Luke 16:10-12 NIV
This is a very important teaching that Christ is giving the disciples, and the crowd who’s listening in. Unfortunately, we don’t always grasp the full meaning of what He’s talking about here.
The Lord is giving us a complete look at how He evaluates us before moving us to the next level. If we ignore this teaching, then we may be stalling out our progress in the Lord.
We all want to move forward in the spirit. However, there are many times when we seem to be “spinning our wheels” without any advancement. This teaching of Christ may explain what’s happening during those times.
Jesus gives us three areas of evaluation. They’re all important to the Lord. Therefore, they should be very important to us.
First, the Lord examines how we handle what we consider the least amounts. That phrase, very little, literally means the smallest amount you can have of something. It may not be important to you, but it’s important to Christ.
We live in a society that throws everything away. Whether it’s last year’s technology, or leftover food. Remember, we serve a God who picked up all the scraps of food after He fed the five thousand. How do you handle the smallest amounts of what you have?
The next thing He looks at is how we handle worldly wealth. This is a part of our financial stewardship. We all have the money we need to pay our bills with. I don’t believe that’s what the Lord is talking about here.
This is referring to the money we can spend with our heart. It’s what we do with the extra in our accounts. Do we seek the Lord’s will in our spending? Or do we simply get everything our flesh desires for it’s comfort?
Finally, we’re evaluated on how we handle other peoples’ property. This is another area that our society has no concept of.
I like to hike on the local trails near my house. It bothers me when I see trash all around, because people know the park maintenance workers will pick it up. In the stores, many times the clothing section is trashed because people look at something, they don’t want it, and throw it on the floor. They know the employees will put it away.
We have to show the same concern for other peoples’ things that we want shown for our stuff. It’s a part of being a blessing to those around us. We should treat people, and their things, the way we want to be treated.
The three of these areas all share a common theme. In order to live correctly, we must give up our selfishness. If we only think about what we want, we’ll fail the spiritual evaluation. That Lord makes it abundantly clear.
“No servant can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and Money.”
Luke 16:13 NIV
You can’t serve two differing masters. The word translated as money, is actually the word, Mammon. This is a word that is usually talking about wealth that you’ve set up as an idol in your heart. It’s the money you want to spend on yourself.
You can’t serve God correctly and feed your selfishness at the same time. Your whole heart must be devoted to Christ. That’s the only way to progress in His kingdom.
Question: How would you evaluate yourself in these three areas?
© 2022 Nick Zaccardi