The Scripture Readings this week are:
Psalm 113 (on insert)
The Sermon title is Shrewd or a Just a Cheater?
Early Thoughts: In the world around us "shrewd business practices" are often (sometimes unintentionally) rewarded--up to a point. But where is the appropriate dividing line?
[Note, Glenn Beck may not like this sermon, because it seems that the Amos passage calls us to practice that thing called Social Justice]
Sometimes I read a passage of Scripture and am left shaking my head in confusion. The parable of the dishonest steward is a prime example. Taken at face value, it sounds as if such dishonest dealings are being commended as a proper way to do business. But that doesn't make any sense!
Luke would seem to agree. Luke continues with some commentary about being faithful in the big and the small, and points out that it is difficult (Luke/Jesus suggests impossible) to serve 2 masters.
So how do we deal with money? And what does that say about us? Appropriate dealing in financial matters is a big part of the ethics/morals of Scripture. And, despite what a certain Fox personality might say, Scripture is clear that in such matters we are to espouse and practice Social Justice. When our finances, our the financial practices of those around us, cause injustice we are to have changes made. We are to be good stewards of what we have. We aren't supposed to watch out solely for our own interests but also for the interests of the people around us.
The shrewd or dishonest servant was, simply put, a cheat. His approach to finances says something about his character. Amos tells of people whose practices say something about their character. Neither paints a very attractive picture. It is my belief that one of the most fundamental theological documents of any organization or individual is their budget and balance sheet.
What statement is your budget making about you?