Jesus is a controversial figure. He is usually seen as doling out restrictions and prohibitions. Take the time to read his teachings carefully. He gives more do’s than don’ts and if you spend your time doing the do’s, you won’t have time to do the don’ts (I stole this from Mike Warnke, it’s just too good).
Jesus tells this story about a guy who is in charge of his master’s house and is about to get fired. His position is much like the president of a company who answers to the owner. He is getting fired for mismanaging the master’s finances.
This is a problem for the guy because he figures that he’s too old and soft to go out and do manual labor for his money. He’s also too prideful to take up begging. So the way he figures it he needs to make connections and fast. He starts going through his bosses rolodex and finds everyone that owes his master money. He gets these guys together and starts wheeling and dealing FAST.
He adjusts the amount owed on the debts, reducing the debt by 50% and 80%. As a servant managing the household, any deals he makes on behalf of his master are binding. He’s not changing the ledger, but renegotiating the deal to cut these guys a break. This allows the Servant to ingratiate himself to the debtors.
He’s already burned his bridge with his current master so he’s not really that concerned about what the master thinks of his methods. He is hustling to make connections. The result is when he’s put out on the street, he has connections that remember him fondly.
The master praises the servant for being shrewd. Not for ripping him off, but for being clever. Jesus uses this as a teaching point, saying, “the children of this world are more shrewd in dealing with the world around them than are the children of the light.” The point is it’s okay to be a Christian and use worldly wisdom. You should use the strategies, resources, and time you have RIGHT NOW to build relationships.
As the saying goes: you can’t take it with you. As a Christian, the one thing you can take with you is people. Relationships change and grow with time. They require work and effort to cultivate them. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t plant as many as you can.
There it is. Jesus says you should network for the kingdom. Making friends that could last an eternity. The master praises the wisdom shown by the Servant in using his position to build relationships.
So when you notice it’s the same cashier you got last time: look them in the eye, learn their name, and learn one new thing about them. Use the place you’re at in life to plant as many relationships as you can. Learn something, share something, and connect.
I challenge you to meet someone new this week! Tell me how it goes.
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