Shrewd. Now that’s not a word we hear too often these days! So I had to look up the Greek meaning behind this word used twice in Luke 16:8.
“The rich man had to admire the dishonest rascal for being so shrewd. And it is true that the children of this world are more shrewd in dealing with the world around them than are the children of the light” (NLT).
Any guesses about what it means? I thought, maybe, “stingy,” or “cunning,” or “sneaky.” I’m glad I went deeper this morning!
Shrewd: our personal perspective which regulates our definition of what we consider smart (paraphrased from HELPS Word Studies).
Our personal perspective can really affect a great deal of our personal decisions, can’t it? In our heart of hearts, where we put our trust determines what we do with our resources–time, money, mental and physical energy, just to name a few.
I like how the Contemporary English Version puts this aspect of the personal point of view in the same verse:
“The master praised his dishonest manager for looking out for himself so well. That’s how it is! The people of this world look out for themselves better than the people who belong to the light” (Luke 16:8).
The “children of this world” have no trust in God or in his goodness, so naturally they have to look out for themselves!
But for those who are “children of the light,” their trust is in their Creator and Sustainer.
“The Word gave life to everything that was created, and his life brought light to everyone . . . But to all who believed him and accepted him, he gave the right to become children of God. They are reborn–not with a physical birth resulting from human passion or plan, but a birth that comes from God” (John 1:4, 12-13).
There is no need to scramble, scuffle, or strive to fight for position, power, or prestige. Our hope is in the Light of the world and in his salvation, and what follows is a changed life.
“For once you were full of darkness, but now you have light from the Lord. So live as people of light! For this light within you produces only what is good and right and true” (Ephesians 5:8-9 NLT).
“But let us who live in the light be clearheaded, protected by the armor of faith and love, and wearing as our helmet the confidence of our salvation” (1 Thessalonians 5:8).
We can still be “shrewd children,” only now looking through the lens of a new personal perspective!
“A faithful, sensible (shrewd) servant is one to whom the master can give the responsibility of managing his other household servants and feeding them. If the master returns and finds that the servant has done a good job, there will be a reward” (Matthew 24:45-46).
Are we living as wise stewards of all that God has put in our hands to manage?
May we live with hands wide open, not clinging tightly to what was his all along.
May we remember that good managers will be rewarded!
Today’s reading for December 16: Luke 16