Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Cut Your Neighbor's Bill in Half

“16:1 He also said to the disciples, “There was a rich man who had a manager, and charges were brought to him that this man was wasting his possessions. 2 And he called him and said to him, ‘What is this that I hear about you? Turn in the account of your management, for you can no longer be manager.’ 3 And the manager said to himself, ‘What shall I do, since my master is taking the management away from me? I am not strong enough to dig, and I am ashamed to beg. 4 I have decided what to do, so that when I am removed from management, people may receive me into their houses.’ 5 So, summoning his master's debtors one by one, he said to the first, ‘How much do you owe my master?’ 6 He said, ‘A hundred measures of oil.’ He said to him, ‘Take your bill, and sit down quickly and write fifty.’ 7 Then he said to another, ‘And how much do you owe?’ He said, ‘A hundred measures of wheat.’ He said to him, ‘Take your bill, and write eighty.’ 8 The master commended the dishonest manager for his shrewdness. For the sons of this world are more shrewd in dealing with their own generation than the sons of light.” (Luke 16:1-8)
People find this parable disturbing. They often think Jesus is condoning behavior that is contrary to the seventh commandment. Parables are not Aesop’s Fables. This has nothing to do with money. This has to do with you a dishonest steward who can’t make an account for himself, and God a master that is forgiving. We all have to make an account on the last day. And none of us can. No one is righteous, no not one. We have all sinned, all fallen short of the glory of God.
See this is about judge not lest ye be judged. Or beware of the measure with which you judge because you will be judged with it. It should be mentioned that this has nothing to do with criminal justice. It has to do with you and personal relationships which perhaps include criminals. We need jail, we need prison, we can’t let murderers walk the streets. But we need forgiveness more.
The thing is, when you really look at yourself you realize that you are sinful. You don’t stand a chance on the last day to make an account. Your only hope is Jesus Christ who died and rose from the dead for you. This should have an effect on how you treat and relate to others. You aren’t perfect, you aren’t close to perfect, stop fooling yourself. You are a fool for doing so. If your only hope is forgiveness, then cut your neighbor’s bill in half.

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