The Currency of Wealth

An offering to be used in kingdom work. 


Luke 16:14   The Pharisees, who were lovers of money, heard all this, and they ridiculed him. 15 So he said to them, “You are those who justify yourselves in the sight of others; but God knows your hearts; for what is prized by human beings is an abomination in the sight of God.


Jesus had just finished the parable about the good manager who had been honest in all of his dealings. Not only was he honest, but he was fair and just. Finally Jesus concluded by saying that those who could be trusted with little would be trusted with much, but that those who were dishonest with little, could not be trusted. If the goal of someone was to become wealthy at the expense of others, by dishonest means, then they could not be trusted to manage the kingdom of God. This made the Pharisees very angry because they knew that he was talking about them. They loved their money and were pleased to make it any way possible. Obviously they had learned to justify their actions and were feeling good about themselves. This, Jesus would not tolerate and he condemned them for what was prized in their hearts. They could not serve both God and wealth. 


This is a tricky passage because there are some very good people who are wealthy. They have learned to manage very well and are servants who deal honestly in all they do and willingly share their good fortune with others. This is the beauty of wholeheartedly serving in the kingdom. I think it comes with a reality that you are simply a steward of what God has provided and not that you are the owner. The good manager understands that they don’t own the money, but that it belongs to God in the first place. Unfortunately, I think that these people are the exception, rather than the rule. 

Jesus got to the point of the issue with the Pharisees because it turned out to be a heart issue. Most of us would say that money is not a heart issue for us, but that may be because we don’t have a ton of it! But what do we think about the resources or the things that we do have? What is it that we prize in our own hearts? Maybe it’s not things, but it could be attitudes. Maybe we value the opinions that we have and we are unwilling and unbending in submitting those to the authority of Jesus Christ. These days, opinions, especially expressed on social media, are currency. Some of us are willing to engage in the exchange of that currency, justifying ourselves for our words in the sight of others. But God knows our hearts and trying to win the day, no matter the cost to others, is an abomination in the sight of God. 

The currency of wealth may or may not be money, but anything that we prize in our heart over Jesus becomes a stumbling block to ourselves and to others. We waste time justifying ourselves instead of managing the kingdom resources well. Currency of any kind is a distraction from humble servant leadership in God’s kingdom. 


Lord, may my eyes be opened to your kingdom and may I learn to manage your resources well. Please, keep me honest in all my dealings. Amen. 


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