I wrote last week about Christmas and if wondering about the way I celebrate it made me a Grinch. Well, today with the authority of Jesus I want to celebrate that I can be a Who. Let me explain: the Grinch and the Whos are inventions of Dr Seuss, they are imaginary people who live in Whoville. The Whos are characterised by warm hearts and generous welcoming spirits while the Grinch is mean spirited and tried to ruin Christmas.
So what on earth could Jesus have had to say about being a Who?
9 Learn some lessons from this crooked but clever asset manager. Realize that the purpose of money is to strengthen friendships, to provide opportunities for being generous and kind. Eventually money will be useless to you—but if you use it generously to serve others, you will be welcomed joyfully into your eternal destination.
I can hear you all rushing to your bibles to check that out.
This comes after the parable of the crooked asset manager who tries to get out of trouble by using his power to pay off other’s debts. His boss isn’t angry with him for doing it, he admires his ingenuity. It’s a very odd parable. Isn’t this the same Jesus who told the rich young man to sell all his possessions and give to the poor? The same Jesus who personally roamed the land relying on the kindness of others to shelter and feed and clothe him? The same Jesus who said just a few verses later that you can’t serve God and money…. Ah!
Yes, it is the same Jesus, He knows how the world works, that some of us have a talent for making money. He knows the nature of the world is that we are rewarded for our talents and abilities with monetary gain. He knows that left to ourselves most of us would spend that money on things that benefit us, comfort us, make our lives blissful. He is pointing out that it’s ok to make money so long as that is not the reason for your life. That money is fine when it is used to bless and help others. That having money in itself is not a bad thing: it’s the lust and covetousness that can follow having it.
Neither is it that Jesus is saying buy your way into heaven. He’s saying use your money to further the kingdom, to lay up treasure in Heaven so when you get there a lot of people who were blessed by you will be there too. Maybe even people who found Jesus because you demonstrated Him in your lifestyle.