Lesson, The Unjust Steward
The Parable of the Unjust Steward and the admonition to keep mindful of how our specific operating system works.
The Bible verses:
There was a certain rich man, which had a steward: and the same was accused unto him that he had wasted his goods.
And he called him, and said to him, How is it that I hear this of thee? give an account of thy stewardship; for thou mayest no longer be steward.
Then the steward said within himself, What shall I do? for my lord taketh away from me the stewardship: I cannot dig; to beg I am ashamed.
I am resolved what to do, that, when I am put out of the stewardship, they may receive me into their houses.
So he called every one of his lord's debtors unto him, and said unto the first, How much owest thou unto my lord?
And he said, A hundred measures of oil. And he said unto him, Take thy bill, and sit down quickly, and write fifty.
Then said he to another, And how much owest thou? And he said, A hundred measures of wheat. And he said unto him, Take thy bill and write fourscore.
And the lord commended the unjust steward, because he had done wisely: for the children of this world are in their generation wiser than the children of light.
And I say unto you, Make to yourselves friends of the mammon of unrighteousness; that when ye fail, they may receive you into everlasting habitations.
Decoding the Difficult Sayings
This is another of those scriptures that always bothered me; I just didn't feel I understood it quite right, and I still feel there is more inside if I dig around a little. But I will share what I have so far.
As the Lord was impressing me with what was important for me as a woman, some of this parable unfolded for me. The activities of getting things done, improving myself, caring diligently for my daily responsibilities are important, but not nearly as keeping my temper sweet (if you only knew what a job that is), having gentleness and love radiate from me as I do these things.
That is what is important to the Lord, and for me as a Christian woman. The world system doesn't care how you get a job done, just so long as you get it done. That's why someone who succeeds is so admired, even if it's on the backs of others. That is what Jesus meant when he said the children of this world are in their generation wiser than the children of light. They, at least, realize what is expected and seek to fulfill it. We Christians have a different system to operate within: what love we do things with, the way we live Christ's life out within us is our measure. But so often, we, the children of light, are ignorant of that measure; our own operating system. Instead, we mimic the world and its ways, thus unwisely missing out on the Lord's commendation. For us, that should be the only one that counts.
And then, the Lord puts forth a remedy: that the material good that we work so hard to accumulate and guard should find distribution, giving to those who need, giving to those who have given their life and work for others. Even if we give a cold drink of water, it won't go unrecorded. Reading of the examples of the Shunnamite woman (II Kings 4:8-16), and Cornelius (Acts 10:1-35), we may see concrete examples of people who looked beyond themselves and received notice in scripture .