In Lord of the Rings, Frodo the hobbit complains about the times he is living in, and the sage Gandalf agrees and adds, “All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us.”
We are given this time in history, no matter how you see it. And, we are all equal when it comes to TIME; all of us have 24 hours in our days, and 7 days in our weeks. But, we are not equal when it comes to MONEY and POWER.
Let us explore some ways God’s Word speaks about the inherent inequalities in our lives and how we can handle (or not) what we have.
“The master commended the dishonest manager because he acted cleverly. People who belong to this world are more clever in dealing with their peers than are people who belong to the light. I tell you, use worldly wealth to make friends for yourselves so that when it’s gone, you will be welcomed into the eternal homes.”
Okay, admittedly, this is a hard and weird statement. Many have had a hard time with Jesus saying this for centuries. There are two types of parables, the ones where we should be like them, and ones where we are shown how much better God or God’s way is. This is the second type. The manager is praised for his wits, not his actions. Christ’s followers are encouraged not to be crooks but to be shrewd and wise like the manager, for God’s Kingdom. We are to use what God has given us and use it well. (Think of the Parable of the Talents.)
Wicked wealth only lasts so long. It runs out. What will we invest our lives in — things that last (eternally) or things that run out? Also, I believe Jesus is saying that no matter what we start with (even wicked wealth), it can be redeemed and transformed. God can make lemons into lemonade or junk into a masterpiece. Even more miraculous, God can take us and make us saints. Grace.
Lord, all my time is in your hands. All my power, all my wealth, even all of myself comes from you. I play at thinking that I deserve any of this, instead of seeing that all that I have and all that I am are a gift — grace from you. Help me to use these good gifts you showered upon me, every second, every penny, every influential word, to your honor and glory this day. Amen.
“When you get your, ‘Who am I?' question right, all the 'What should I do?' questions tend to take care of themselves.”
Richard Rohr, Falling Upward, 2011
The World will tell you to keep score by its rules. Define yourself by who you are in God, and the score loses its meaning.