“Guard against every kind of greed. Life is not measured by how much you own” (Luke 12:15 NLT).
The Bible tells a story in Luke 16:1-13 of a rich man who enlisted a manager to take care of his property. When the manager was accused of mishandling his master’s money and was called in to give an account of his stewardship, the manager devised a plan. He knew he was going to lose his job and decided to make some friends who would take care of him when he was fired. So he summoned everyone who owed his master money and lowered their debt; if someone owed 800 gallons of olive oil, he told them to change their bill to 400 gallons.
When the master heard what he had done, he “had to admire the dishonest rascal for being so shrewd. And it is true that the children of this world are more shrewd in dealing with the world around them than are the children of the light” (Luke 16:8 NLT).
In the parable, Jesus doesn’t praise the manager’s dishonesty, but he does praise his shrewdness. What is shrewdness? To be shrewd means you’re smart, strategic, and resourceful. You see a problem clearly, you know what needs to be done, and then you figure out how to do it. God wants you to learn how to be biblically shrewd with your money for the rest of your life.
From the story, we can learn four things that we shouldn’t do with our money.
1. Don’t waste your money.
Luke 16:1 says, “A report came that the manager was wasting his employer’s money” (NLT). Because everything you have belongs to God and is a gift from him — including your money — you have to be careful not to waste what belongs to your master.
2. Don’t love your money.
You’ve got to decide if God is going to be number one in your life or if making a lot of money will be your main goal in life. You cannot serve both.
“No one can serve two masters. For you will hate one and love the other; you will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money” (Luke 16:13 NLT).
3. Don’t trust your money.
I don’t care how much money you’ve got — you can always lose it. The manager learned this pretty quickly in Luke 16:3: “Now what? My boss has fired me.”
If you want to be secure, the center of your life has to be built around something that can never be taken from you. And there’s only one thing that you can never lose: God’s love for you.
4. Don’t expect your money to satisfy.
If you think having more will make you happier, more secure, or more valuable, you are seriously misguided, because money will never satisfy: “Whoever loves money never has enough; whoever loves wealth is never satisfied with his income” (Ecclesiastes 5:10 NIV).
That’s why Jesus says in Luke 12:15, “Guard against every kind of greed. Life is not measured by how much you own” (NLT).