How would Jesus use His Money?

Photo Credit: tehusagent via Compfight cc
Photo Credit: tehusagent via Compfight cc

Of all the stories that Jesus told, the Parable of the Shrewd Manager in Luke 16 is probably the most difficult one to understand. Most of the others are somewhat straight forward. This one, however, is tough because Jesus seems to be siding with the bad guy. He picks the guy who does wrong and is dismissed by his employer. The point of the story, however, isn’t that the manager was bad, it was how he used his master’s money to make sure he still had friends after he was let go. Jesus says that the lesson in the story is to, “Use your worldly resources to benefit others and make friends. Then, when your earthly possessions are gone, they will welcome you to an eternal home.” [1]

I heard a great sermon on this passage and you should take time to listen to it to hear the whole explanation of it, but here’s a summary. This shrewd manager used his master’s money to secure comfort for himself after he was fired. God gives us money and possessions to use. We should use God’s money with eternity in mind. It’s a strange parallel to make, but that’s what Jesus is teaching. Our focus should be on using God’s money for eternal purposes.

I bring this up because recently, I believe that we have seen a poor example of how Christians use their money. Franklin Graham issued a statement that his organizations would be pulling their money from Wells Fargo because of an ad featuring homosexuals. In light of Jesus’ parable, I have to disagree with the example Mr. Graham has done.

I think if Mr. Graham were to live out what this parable teaches, he would have kept his money right where it is even though he disagrees with Wells Fargo. If he really wants to use his worldly resources to benefit others and make friends, then he should have used his influence as an investor at Wells Fargo to build some relationships in the company. In fact, they are doing good things in communities and that can be applauded. Maybe they could have even partnered with Samaritan’s Purse to help children around the world. In doing so it puts him in a position to share the gospel with those at Wells Fargo.

That being said, I think if we were to use our money like Jesus suggests in his parable we would be using our money to partner with organizations who are doing good in their community. It may seem like a radical thing to say that we should still buy from places that support things we don’t necessarily believe in, but by doing this, we get to build relationships with people outside of the church. As for not supporting things we don’t agree with, there are definitely some things that we should never support like human trafficking. Other than those extremes, I’m sure that most places where we spend money hold some sort of view that we don’t necessarily agree with. Overall, I believe that the point of Jesus parable is that we get more of an opportunity to share Jesus with people when we build friendships with our money.

[1] Tyndale House Publishers, Holy Bible: New Living Translation (Carol Stream, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, 2013), Lk 16:9.

4 thoughts on “How would Jesus use His Money?

  1. Jason Wetherholt 06/30/2015 / 7:15 am

    Well said, Peter.

    I’d rather have some influence in the dark than captivate all the light that already agreed with me.

    And what if examples like this threaten even my preconceived definitions of “light” and “dark”?

    Much to ponder today. Thanks for beginning the conversation.

    • Peter S. 07/01/2015 / 7:33 am

      Thank you, Jason, for jumping in. I agree, I think that we should question our preconceived notions of how we live in the light instead of the dark. I immediately think of the Pharisees who sought to be in the light be obeying the law but instead drew people into the darkness of legalism. I hope, like you, to be a light in the dark instead of trying to be popular.

  2. quirkywritingcorner 06/30/2015 / 2:04 pm

    Reblogged this on quirkywritingcorner and commented:
    What is your view on this? I kind of agree with him. As a nurse, I took care of people and did not worry about what sins they had committed. I did not say I couldn’t take care of this woman because she was a prostitute, or this man because he murdered someone. I hoped I was a witness to them which is pretty much what Peter is saying. Yet, I know my money would be used to advance a cause I don’t believe in. I know nothing about the bank I use. Should I?

    • Peter S. 07/01/2015 / 7:28 am

      First of all, thank you for sharing my post. Second, I think we should know more about the places that we store our money, but there are times when we need to be willing to work with people who we don’t see eye to eye with in order to build a relationship with those outside of Christ. There are other times where I would remove my money. If you find that your money is being used for illicit purposes or harming individuals, then I think you should remove your money. Typically, though these things don’t happen. In terms of what Mr. Graham did because he is against homosexuality, I think we are a little too quick to think that our money is directly to fund some sort of gay rights cause. When in actuality, at least from their website, it seems like Wells Fargo use money to do all kinds of charitable work and that’s something that I can support.

      The reality of it all is that in America, you aren’t going to find any major corporations that you completely agree with. If that’s the case, then I say use the money that you have to build a relationship with the cashier at Wells Fargo or the Barista at Starbucks. In the end, I think that’s more important.

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