A father said to his son, “I want to marry a girl of my choice.”
The son protested, “I will choose my own bride!”
To this the father responded, “But the girl is Bill Gates’ daughter.”
“Well, in that case,” the son shot back, “ok.”
The next day the father went to Bill Gates and said, “I have a husband for your daughter.” Bill Gates told the father that his daughter “…is too young to marry.”
“But,” the father noted, “This young man is a vice-president of the World Bank.”
Mr. Gates smiled and replied, “Well, in that case, ok.”
Finally, the father went to see the president of the World Bank and told him that he had “…a young man to be recommended as a vice president of the company.”
The President scowled, “I already have more vice-presidents than i need!” “But,” the father replied, “this young man is Bill Gates’ son-in-law,” to which the President responded, “Well, in that case, ok.”
This story may well be a modern day version of Jesus’ parable of the “Shrewd Manager” (Luke 16). In Jesus’ story a man loses his job as an account manager and creatively devises a plan to place himself in the good graces of others who were greatly indebted to the man’s boss. The result will be that when the man can no longer pay the rent and ends up on the street, his newly purchased “friends” will welcome him into their homes. Dishonest as it may first appear, Jesus appears impressed with the man’s awareness and keen judgment.
Jesus tells us that the worldly are more creative in working toward their goals than are those enlightened by trusting God in pursuing the aims to which He would call them. A Jewish commentator, David Stern, says, “Many well-intentioned people (“Christians” in this case) are bound by lack of imagination, freedom, and grounding in reality when equivalent to the description giving of the serpent in Genisis 3 – “he was more crafty than any of the animals God had made,” and he sure could ask good questions (hough not well-intentioned).
This economic environment needs people who can think with clever discerning. An employer simply looking at numbers on a spreadsheet and slashing workers is careless, irresponsible, and lacking of intelligence. Equally so, people felling sorry for themselves and speeding to the unemployment line is void of the shrewd cunning that impresses Jesus. We would do well to devise creative plans and work hard. That is the art of acting shrewdly, and like my opening story, it’s how business gets done! It also sends the right message, and makes the “teaching about God our Savior attractive” (Titus 2:10). Furthermore, the friends we gain from doing so, God the Father and His Son, will welcome you into eternal dwellings of their own.
So, since I am soon to be out of work, does anyone have Bill Gates’ cell number?
Pastor Chad Wight
The Journey Church