Complacently Getting By

Complacently Getting By

03 October 2010

Today’s Reading: Ezra 5-6; Psalm 138; Luke 16


8 “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. 9 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.” (Luke 16:8-9 MSG)

Jesus told a story about a clever, streetwise, but dishonest manager. Then he made this application to his friends: “I want you to be smart for what is right!”

Jesus told his disciples that his intention for them (and us) was to live a faith-life of creativity, initiative, and energy. The religion of the day, often illustrated in Jesus’ conflict with the Pharisees, had degenerated into extensive lists of forbidden behavior and activities and much shorter lists of activities (mostly religious rituals) that represented “good behavior.”

What I’m challenging you to,” Jesus told them, “Is Kingdom of God living! Complacent good behavior, religious rituals, and self-righteousness just won’t get it anymore!”

The creative, world-changing, status-quo-challenging life of faith will bring adversity. No extra points for stirring up trouble unnecessarily, but when it comes use it! Jesus said we should use unavoidable adversity to stimulate creativity, to concentrate our attention on the essentials, and to motivate us to live energetically and enthusiastically.

I’ve heard that the Chinese character for Crisis is made up of the symbols for Danger and Opportunity.

Friends, let’s take decisive steps away from merely getting by on complacent good behavior and let’s face adversity, when it comes, with energetic, creative faith.!


Father, Help me to respond rather than react to the big and little adversities that come my way. I want to use every dangerous opportunity you send my way to grow and learn and serve you more effectively. Amen.

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