BY HUMPHREY MTANDWA
“The children of this world are in their generation wiser than the children of light.” (Luke 16:8) Jesus, said the unsaved are wiser in each generation than the saved. This statement always made me uncomfortable because of the weight those words carried. Why would Jesus conclude that the unsaved would always be wiser in each generation than the saved? His words, though they seem unfair, have proven to be true throughout past generations. Those in the church or the Godly seem to always be disadvantaged in each generation. The church shuns away from any topics that major on money because of a religious spirit. Because of this the church has not mastered wealth management. Money is not evil, but the love of money is what the Bible discourages us from. Many people work for money but we are not called to work for money, but for money to work for us. The story of the Shrewd Steward has keys that if the church masters, we will be able to position ourselves correctly.
The context in which the key is used is undoubtedly important to understand what the master really meant. If we study the parable, we can see details that help us as believers to have an advantage in this generation.
The master spoke a parable of a Shrewd Steward who misused his master’s money and was going to be fired for this. When the steward learned he would likely lose his job, he did something dishonest and reduced the debt of all the master’s debtors so that if he got fired, these debtors would give him favours (Luke 16:1-13). This was a dishonest move and he had no authority to continue handling his master business and the manner in which he conducted himself was unjust and dishonest. Yet when the master heard what the steward did, he commended that steward for his wisdom. How could such a move be regarded as wisdom? He was deceitful, yet considered wise. The master was not commending the dishonesty of the steward, but he was inspired by his thoughtfulness to handle present situations in preparation for his future (his focus and ability to plan for his future) The steward had foresight and planned for his life after losing employment. Because we actbas if we do not want money people in the church don’t have that foresight and are not able to plan strategical in a way that can make them affluent in financial matters. The church needs to recognise first the value of money and the need for it in the institution. This article uses the word money as a general term, but wealth goes beyond money.
Those in the world (unbelievers) understand that success is measured by how much they gather to oneself and this view is also considered to be the truth by some in the church. Successful people are recognised by how much they have. It seems in this world, material possessions are what we use to value wealth. What is true wealth and how can it be measured?
How then do we measure wealth? Inasmuch as we believers cancel out the view point held in the world, why would Jesus say those in the world when it comes to financial matters are by far wiser than those in the church in each generation. Yes, the steward was so focused and determined and that he could do anything to secure his future. This steward in Luke was regarded as wise because he had foresight which allowed him to plan and prepare for the days that would follow after losig his employment. This steward was so focused on himself that he cheated and manipulated to maintain his position.I don’t believe Jesus commended the cheating, but the focus. There are so many keys in the parable that can unlock wealth and some are hidden in the simplicity of this parable. Jesus commended the focus and some other principles in the parable. If the church is to influence the world we need to be wealthy because money amplifies a person’s voice.
God Bless You
- Humphrey Mtandwa is an anointed minister of the gospel and teacher of the Word based in South Africa. He has written several books including The Enoch Generation, Truthfulness and Theophany. He blogs at mtandwa.blogspot.com and can be contacted via e-mail or WhatsApp on +27 610286350.