Everything I have is on loan from God, and everything I am belongs to God.
If I do things the way I’ve always done things, I’m not growing. Going outside the box is risky because it’s the unknown. However, I am supposed to go outside the box, and use everything God has given me, in every capacity, to grow and honor Him.
It glorifies him to use my God-given gifts, to innovate, and take risks for Him. When I do, I’m putting my trust in Him, and I’m doing my best to make a difference. Being out of my comfort zone is humbling.
The Parable of the Unjust Steward
The parable of the unjust steward (or crooked manager) is a shocking example of going outside the box, which glorified Him. You see, the manager was fired for swindling money from clients. In the process of being fired, he lowered everyone’s debts to win their friendship with the hopes they’d take him in and help him out when he’s unemployed. He was innovative and shrewd, but nevertheless, he helped others with hopes they’d help him in return. Furthermore, he was praised for his innovation:
Luke 16:1-15 — The Story of the Crooked Manager — The Message
1-2 Jesus said to his disciples, “There was once a rich man who had a manager. He got reports that the manager had been taking advantage of his position by running up huge personal expenses. So he called him in and said, ‘What’s this I hear about you? You’re fired. And I want a complete audit of your books.’
3-4 “The manager said to himself, ‘What am I going to do? I’ve lost my job as manager. I’m not strong enough for a laboring job, and I’m too proud to beg. . . . Ah, I’ve got a plan. Here’s what I’ll do . . . then when I’m turned out into the street, people will take me into their houses.’
5 “Then he went at it. One after another, he called in the people who were in debt to his master. He said to the first, ‘How much do you owe my master?
6 “He replied, ‘A hundred jugs of olive oil.’
“The manager said, ‘Here, take your bill, sit down here—quick now— write fifty.
7 “To the next he said, ‘And you, what do you owe?’ ”
He answered, ‘A hundred sacks of wheat.’ “He said, ‘Take your bill, write in eighty.’
8-9 “Now here’s a surprise: The master praised the crooked manager! And why? Because he knew how to look after himself. Streetwise people are smarter in this regard than law-abiding citizens. They are on constant alert, looking for angles, surviving by their wits. I want you to be smart in the same way—but for what is right—using every adversity to stimulate you to creative survival, to concentrate your attention on the bare essentials, so you’ll live, really live, and not complacently just get by on good behavior.”
10-13 Jesus went on to make these comments: If you’re honest in small things, you’ll be honest in big things; If you’re a crook in small things, you’ll be a crook in big things. If you’re not honest in small jobs, who will put you in charge of the store? No worker can serve two bosses: He’ll either hate the first and love the second. Or adore the first and despise the second. You can’t serve both God and the Bank.
14-15 When the Pharisees, a money-obsessed bunch, heard him say these things, they rolled their eyes, dismissing him as hopelessly out of touch. So Jesus spoke to them: “You are masters at making yourselves look good in front of others, but God knows what’s behind the appearance. What society sees and calls monumental, God sees through and calls monstrous.
What this says to me is God sees me — He knows all my strengths and doesn’t care about everything I lack. He wants me to find creative solutions in using my resources, time, strengths, and passions, to serve Him by helping others.
Using my God-given strengths
The key is using my God-given strengths to innovate, and not try to be someone else or try to have different strengths.
Think of David and Goliath. After David convinces Saul he can defeat Goliath, Saul gives him his armor — which doesn’t fit and doesn’t work for him. One size doesn’t fit all, and he couldn’t do it the way Saul would (all dressed in armor ready for one-to-one combat). Instead he used his strengths to fight Goliath, and he won. Who would have known some kid with a slingshot was the one who’d slain the giant.
God gave me strengths, and I need to use them for His glory, and not worry about how others do things, and not worry about the giants that come my way. God has blessed me with unique gifts and strengths, and I glorify Him when I use them.
Will you always win if you follow God and use the strengths He’s given you?
Does God want you to take risks for Him?
How do these scriptures connect with you?
Much of this post was written while I sat in church, engaging in the sermon by Dave Abbatacola. The scriptures and main ideas of those passages were from the sermon, while I merely absorbed and wrote from my perspective and my interpretation of the sermon.