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Jesus tells the story of the unethical manager. He gets fired for his misdeeds. He is a schemer and figures out a way to get back into every ones good graces. Whether you are ethical or unethical, getting fired is no fun.

Jesus challenges me. “I want you to be smart in the same way—but for what is right—using every adversity to stimulate you to creative survival, to concentrate your attention on the bare essentials, so you’ll live, really live, and not complacently just get by on good behavior.”

Jesus wants me to really live. Jesus wants me to learn that adversity can be used in a creative way for survival. Now this is tough. It is hard for me. Adversity really sucks. But adversity is God’s way.

I need to embrace adversity. Adversity is my friend. Adversity teaches me how to really trust God. When I don’t see a way out, that is my challenge, not God’s. Nothing is impossible with God.

Jesus makes it clear that I can’t serve God and money. And that is that! And that is clear. Jesus leaves no room for me to wiggle.

Jesus said to his disciples, “There was once a rich man who had a manager. He got reports that the manager had been taking advantage of his position by running up huge personal expenses. So he called him in and said, ‘What’s this I hear about you? You’re fired. And I want a complete audit of your books.

“The manager said to himself, ‘What am I going to do? I’ve lost my job as manager. I’m not strong enough for a laboring job, and I’m too proud to beg. . . . Ah, I’ve got a plan. Here’s what I’ll do . . . then when I’m turned out into the street, people will take me into their houses.’

“Then he went at it. One after another, he called in the people who were in debt to his master. He said to the first, ‘How much do you owe my master?’ “He replied, ‘A hundred jugs of olive oil.’ “The manager said, ‘Here, take your bill, sit down here—quick now—write fifty.’ “To the next he said, ‘And you, what do you owe?’ “He answered, ‘A hundred sacks of wheat.’ “He said, ‘Take your bill, write in eighty.’

“Now here’s a surprise: The master praised the crooked manager! And why? Because he knew how to look after himself. Streetwise people are smarter in this regard than law-abiding citizens. They are on constant alert, looking for angles, surviving by their wits. I want you to be smart in the same way—but for what is right—using every adversity to stimulate you to creative survival, to concentrate your attention on the bare essentials, so you’ll live, really live, and not complacently just get by on good behavior.”

Source: Luke 16:1-9

Hardships often prepare ordinary people for an extraordinary destiny

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