Parable of the Unjust Steward and Being Stupid

Yesterday I cautioned against academic Christianity–a faith that is head-knowledge and leaves the practical life alone. This is bad stuff.

But I don’t want to give the idea that I am against using wisdom, or that ignorance and empty-headedness is some sort of virtue.

One of the Lord’s oddest parables is the parable of the unjust steward in Luke 16. The steward wastes his master’s money and when the time for accounting comes, he goes out and makes deals with his master’s debtors, cutting their debts in half.

“The lord commended the unjust steward, because he had done wisely,” Jesus says! What an alarming statement! Jesus then tells us that “the children of this world are in their generation wiser than the children of light.”

His followers get blasted for not being as wise as the unjust steward! How rude! What, are we supposed to go out and rip off our boss by deceptive means to preserve our own skin?

Hardly. Proverbs is filled with verses about doing business fairly and honestly. The point is this: even unjust stewards who have none of God’s wisdom can act smart. Wisdom comes forth to save his own skin, how much more should our wisdom come forth to use rightly God’s stuff?

Generally speaking, in this parable, Jesus is saying that Christians are stupid.

Unsaved people, who have no concept of eternity or correct priorities, show all sorts of wisdom when it comes to saving their own stuff/skin. Unfortunately, Believers, who know that all things belong to God, let things slide. Perhaps we even blame it on God when things don’t go right, “God is on the throne, amen!”

Perhaps our desire to uphold the sovereignty of God or His justice, love, grace, etc., leads to a carelessness or stupidity that we will ultimately be judged for some day. God’s attributes do not negate human responsibility.

We could all stand to use more wisdom in how we use our Master’s things. He’s given us much and it is required in a steward that he be found faithful. Don’t let lying, cheating scum make you look bad on judgment day!

2 thoughts on “Parable of the Unjust Steward and Being Stupid”

  1. If you are saying that I am stupid and unwise…guilty as charged. I’ve made most of the mistakes that can be made. And even learned from some of them. :-)

  2. No man can have wisdom without knowledge but one can have knowledge without wisdom!

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