What the Dishonest Manager Did Right
“The wise man looks ahead. The fool attempts to fool himself and won’t face facts” (Proverbs 14:8 TLB).
In the story of the dishonest manager in Luke 16, the main character is the hero—despite his dishonesty. But why? Because the manager knew he was about to be fired, he canceled part of the debts that other people owed to his master. His hope was that one day when he needed a favor, they would remember they owed him one. His dishonesty certainly isn’t admirable. So what did Jesus like about this guy?
The dishonest manager did three things right, and they’re the same things God wants you to do with your money.
First, the manager looked ahead. He considered the future. Every advertisement in our culture teaches us to make it now, spend it now, have it now, and forget about the future. That’s why very few people have savings.
Proverbs 14:8 says, “The wise man looks ahead. The fool attempts to fool himself and won’t face facts” (TLB). There are some things you need to face up to in your finances, and the longer you wait to do that, the harder they will be to fix.
The second thing God wants you to do, like the manager did, is make a plan. How do you know if you’ve got a financial plan? It’s really simple: Do you have a budget? A budget tells your money where to go. If you don’t have a budget, you don’t have a plan. “We should make plans—counting on God to direct us” (Proverbs 16:9 TLB).
The third thing the manager did that we should also do is act quickly. He didn’t procrastinate. He didn’t delay. He set his plan in motion. He didn’t say, “Someday I’m going to get my finances in order. Someday I’m going to start saving for retirement.” Remember this: “One of these days” is none of these days.
The manager says in Luke 16:4, “Now I know what I will do! Then when my job is gone, I shall have friends who will welcome me in their homes” (GNT). That is what Jesus is commending—not the manager’s dishonesty but his ability to make a plan and act on it. If you’re just drifting through life, you’re not acting wisely. You need to take the long view.
When Jesus talks about the long view, he’s not talking about retirement. He’s talking about the long view to the other side of death. When you look ahead, make a plan that pleases God, and then act on it, you are making an investment for the future that will reap eternal rewards.
Talk It Over
What hard facts about your finances do you need to face today? What hard decisions will make your life more manageable?
Think about your last three large purchases or investments. How do they align with the three principles discussed in today’s devotional?
How can your budget and planning reflect an eternal perspective?
This devotional © 2020 by Rick Warren. All rights reserved. Used by permission.