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Wicked Plans: The Consequence of Failed Stewardship

(part 3 of The Parable of the Shrewd Manager)

Dear Friend,

Once the rich man calls His manager to give an account of what he's been entrusted to steward, and the manager realizes that he's been poor at management, the Bible tells us something fascinating. Take a look at Luke 16:3-4

“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.’

Do you see it? Do you see the consequence of failed stewardship?

Since the manager was a poor steward and knew that his master wouldn't allow him to continue in that vein, the Bible tells us that he decided to devise a deceitful plan to secure himself. Since he wasn't strong enough to do manual labor (to dig) and had too much pride to ask for help (ashamed to beg), he decided to do something else to gain favorable influence with people.

He decided to cheat his master out of what rightfully belonged to Him. Essentially, instead of repenting, he chose to secure himself and his future and to do so, he had to lie to gain influence.

In verses 5-7, the manager calls in those who owe debts and instructs them to decrease the amount owed to the master. While this could be viewed as supernatural debt cancelation for the borrowers, it wasn't because the Bible tells us that he intended to be deceitful and to secure himself: "The master commended the dishonest manager because he had acted shrewdly" (v.8, NIV).

While the NIV uses "dishonest," the KJV uses "unjust," which means "a deed violating law and justice." I point you to this definition because you must remember that the spirit realm operates on rules and laws, which is why the manager's actions are considered unjust.

Going back to the heart of the matter, the parable issues a warning to us. One that is sobering but timely: If you don't steward what you have correctly, you will be judged, and in panic, you might resort to unlawful deeds to try to secure yourself.

So is it that God didn't show up for you? Or is it that He did show up for you in a previous season to set you up for the next, but you mismanaged the moment?

Whatever the case, this parable provides us food for thought and warns us against fumbling what God has trusted us to manage.

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