If you are faithful in little things, you will be faithful in large ones. But if you are dishonest in little things, you won’t be honest with greater responsibilities. And if you are untrustworthy about worldly wealth, who will trust you with the true riches of heaven? And if you are not faithful with other people’s things, why should you be trusted with things of your own?
A part of me feels like I can just leave that Scripture and not write anything else. It’s that convicting/meaningful for me.
I have been reading through the book of Luke lately, and it’s strange how easy I forget the conviction behind Christ’s words (when I say conviction, I mean their convicting nature). These verses follow the parable of the shrewd manager in Luke 16. When Christ talks in these verses, His primary focus seems to be on actual, earthly wealth.
I believe that here in these verses we see that Christ isn’t opposed to earthly wealth, but as you keep reading in Luke 16, you’ll find that He does speak directly to the wealthy Pharisees. This is one of the chapters in which you find Christ say that you cannot serve both God and money – a statement that greatly affects the wealthy Pharisees who love their wealth.
Christ speaks directly to these rich Pharisees when He says, “You like to appear righteous in public, but God knows your hearts. What this world honors is detestable in the sight of God” (Luke 16:15). This creates a distinction, for me, between having wealth and honoring wealth; I think that honoring wealth takes on many different forms.
I come from one of the richest counties in the United States. Seeing wealthy people is a much more common experience than seeing the poor. Most assuredly, there are poor in the county in which I live, but many of those who don’t have the money still find a way to generate this image of wealth either by going into debt or somehow being shrewd. When it comes to temporal wealth where I live, I don’t think there is a whole lot of humility.
Now, whether or not you are honoring money and wealth becomes a matter of the heart, a thing between you and God, and it doesn’t matter whether you have $100,000 or $100 dollars, you can still be paying homage to your wealth in your heart. Being trustworthy with earthly wealth boils down to more than just whether or not you invest or use that money wisely. Being trustworthy with money also deals with the place that it has in your heart.