Luke 16:8 (ESV) The master commended the dishonest manager for his shrewdness. For the sons of this world are more shrewd in dealing with their own generation than the sons of light.
A retired US military intelligence officer and regular at our cafe, told Dale about the service record of a navy seal commander. At one time in his service he was summarily ‘sacked’ by his commanding officer. In the military such an event is the end of a career. However, rather than being the end, this man went on to become an admiral. Apparently it was because he was able to find acceptance by other commanders and, through tenacity, did the unthinkable.
Rather than becoming a victim of circumstance, rather than have his future fall victim to another’s decision, he took control and changed the future his former ‘boss’ intended.
This reminded me of the parable of the shrewd manager in Luke 16:1-8.
The manager, who was basically the managing director of his bosses company, was accused by others of mismanaging the business. Whether the accusations were true or not, when the owner heard them the manager’s employment was immediately terminated. This account parallels that of the admiral… when the manager was sacked, rather than accepting the prospects of a future controlled by another, he judiciously took control. He went to his former bosses business partners and reduced the exorbitant interest charges on their account. Thus he was able to find an alternate future suited to his skills and plans.
Rather than accept the end of his career, rather than becoming a victim of circumstance, he took control and changed the future his former ‘boss’ intended.
Jesus commended the manager saying that the people of this world exercise better judgement and commonsense that most Christians.
In the Word Biblical Commentary, John Nolland expresses it like this:
Luke draws from the parable the lesson that, despite this state of awareness, Christians seem less effective at cutting their cloth to their situation than do the worldly wise.(Nolland, J. (1998). Luke 9:21–18:34 (Vol. 35B, pp. 801–802). Dallas: Word, Incorporated.)
No one has your future in mind more than Jesus Christ. He died to release you from the victimisation of circumstances (sin?). Through this parable Jesus is saying there is no glory in being a victim in life. Through the judicious exercise of good judgement take control of your future rather than passively accept circumstances that produce failure, defeat and death.
Don’t be a victim of circumstances… be active in pursuing your future…