And if you are untrustworthy about worldly wealth, who will trust you with the
true riches of heaven? Luke 16:11, NLT
Jesus cuts to the chase! How well we manage worldly wealth determines how much we can be trusted to manage God’s true riches. What is worldly wealth? Stuff we can enjoy on earth but not take to heaven is worldly wealth. Management of worldly wealth is important because it is an indicator how faithful we will be with what’s most important—true riches. What are true riches? True riches originate from God and are initiated from heaven such as our relationship with Him and our relationship with each other. Loving the Lord and loving people—the two great commands!
Whether managing a lot or little worldly wealth, and we should stay faithful and prudent in overseeing the Lord’s resources. But, to be wise, we must not be carried away by money that flies away into the sky. Our hope is in Christ, not cash. The beauty of true riches is they grow and thrive in intimacy during times of stillness, solitude and silence. Feel familiar? Our God pause can be a catalyst to draw us closer to Jesus and to each other—if we let it. Focus on the balance sheet of your true riches and watch it soar. Avoid obsessing over less cash.
So don’t worry about these things, saying, ‘What will we eat? What will we drink? What will we wear?’ These things dominate the thoughts of unbelievers, but your heavenly Father already knows all your needs. Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need. So don’t worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries. Today’s trouble is enough for today (Matthew 6:31-34).
Are you content knowing and loving Christ and knowing and loving those who know you best? What valuation can you place on the priceless asset of true riches? My mentor for many years, Howard Dayton, defined his life and work with Luke 16:11, calling it his signature— 26 years later he still does. Why? Because Christ’s calculus for faithful living in Him never changes. By observing Howard up close and at a distance, the secret to a faithful life in Christ is humility. Humility to confess daily the Lord is owner of all I have. Humility to give generously out of a grateful heart—discarding greed. Humility to be loved and to love with forgiveness, patience, kindness, peace and joy.
Yes, be wise and prudent in the management of worldly wealth so you can enjoy the true riches of an abundant life. Pay down debt. Consider refinancing your home mortgage to increase cash. Spend less. Save more. Give freely. But avoid obsessing over your hope and security in your net worth, and instead exchange the inferior idol of love of money for the superior love of your Savior Jesus. Manage worldly wealth wisely, so you can be trusted with heaven’s true riches.
No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money (Luke 16:13).