One Butter Patty
With a business degree from an Ivy League school, Michael couldn’t miss. Growing up in Texas, he wanted to return to the Lone Star State so he jumped when right before graduation the placement office posted that one of the most profitable banks in Dallas would be conducting interviews on campus Tuesday morning.
For two hours they grilled him and allowed him to do the same. Confident, accurate, an easy conversationalist, he knew he had aced the interviews. With his 4.0 GPA he knew he had the job, and it was time for lunch.
“You’re the last interview for the morning. Mind if I join you for lunch?” Michael thought this might mean a high-end meal at one of the fancy places in town, but then his hopes were dashed. “Do you usually eat in the cafeteria?” Going through the food line and picking out his usual lunch, Michael concluded this guy must be one of those practical, country Texas boys who believed in pinching every penny. The guy left and Michael was confident he had the position, but he had made one fatal mistake.
“The one who is faithful in little is also faithful in much, and the one who is unfaithful in little is also unfaithful in much. Therefore, if you are not faithful in the use of unrighteous money who will trust you with what truly is worth something? And if you have not been faithful with what belongs to another, who will give you that which is your own? No household servant is able to serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or be devoted to one and despise the other. You are not able to serve God and money.” Luke 16:10-13
Remember the household manager who got fired in Jesus’ story at the beginning of this section? We’ve discussed how Jesus commended his generosity in lowering the debts owed his master. Jesus commended generosity because His Father, the true Master, is generous, but Jesus doesn’t want us to think He condones the behavior that got the steward fired—the mishandling of his master’s resources. Money doesn’t mean much from heaven’s perspective, but I need to be dependable and honest in the way I handle it. I also need to be sure that it’s not my god. It’s either on my knees before the true God or bowing daily to the dollar bill that in the end is only a piece of paper.
The letter came and Michael was excited as he opened the envelope. They even still used snail mail. “Dear Michael, we regret to inform you that there will be no position available for you with our company. In the cafeteria line I saw you push the butter patty under your potatoes so that the cashier wouldn’t see it. If you’ll cheat with a teaspoon of butter, we can’t trust you with the millions we handle at our bank.”
LORD, paying bills on time, accurately reporting my income at tax time, being generous with my resources—help me to remember that there will be no currency or banks in heaven, but the dividends for faithfulness, honesty, and generosity will keep paying forever.
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