"I tell you, use worldly wealth to gain friends for yourselves." Luke 16:9
An old saying in India has it: "If you're going to live by a river, make friends with the crocodiles."
Some places in the world are more dangerous than others. And some places, also some occupations and lifestyles, have special kinds of perils connected with them. Foresight is therefore important.
In a parable Jesus has an owner commend a dishonest manager for having acted with foresight when he made provision for his future. Jesus did not praise the manager for his dishonesty--he had the debtors falsify their account, thus currying favor with them as his future benefactors. Jesus praises him for his foresight, making the point that Christians likewise should look ahead to eternal life in heaven, there to be joined by those whom they have befriended. Many people will be in heaven because established Christians told them about Christ's salvation. Established Christians do this, not in order to be saved, but because they are saved. They do not merit heaven by good deeds; heaven is already theirs because of Christ's redeeming merit.
It is important to ask, What special hazards attend my life and my life's vocation? And if Christians know what they are, what provision are they making to protect themselves? If they handle the company's money, what are the "crocodiles" that are ready to devour them? What are the moral pitfalls in school, in the home, in the community?
The important alternative is: How can we turn things around so that the temptations for evil will become opportunities for doing good? God is pleased when His people live circumspectly. He tell us through Saint Paul: "Be very careful, then, how you live--not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil" (Ephesians 5:15-16).
PRAYER: Dear Lord Jesus, give me the gift of wisdom and foresight to deal with the hazards I face in my life. Amen.
(Devotions from "With Jesus Every Day" copyright 1997, CPH. All Rights Reserved. No part of this publication may be printed, reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without prior written permission of Concordia Publishing House. Permission is granted for one-time emailing of this link to a friend. For information on other devotional material, please contact CPH at 800-325-3040 or visit CPH at www.cph.org.)