FAITHFULNESS & HONESTY are ESSENTIAL to receive GREAT REWARDS: “He who is faithful in what is least is faithful also in much; and he who is unjust in what is least is unjust also in much. Therefore if you have not been faithful in the unrighteous mammon, who will commit to your trust the true riches? And if you have not been faithful in what is another man's, who will give you what is your own?” (Luke 16:10-12)
The above passage is the life application given by Jesus Christ to His disciples after expounding the ‘parable of the unjust steward’. The unjust steward in this parable is very much similar to the prodigal son as they both waste and abuse worldly goods under their possession (v. 1). In this parable, however, the master commends the unjust steward for his prudence in securing his future (vs. 8). There are some valuable character traits in the unjust steward that are worthy to emulate, including his quick decisiveness, his self-collectedness, his energy, and his tact. The biggest lesson for us is that this steward realizes that he is about to be dismissed from work and he decides to take corrective action immediately. Similarly, we should realize that we will surely die one day, and we should prepare ourselves adequately now itself for our eternal future!
If we are faithful in our stewardship of what is least (money), then we will be faithful in handling what is much (spiritual treasures). The value of money is uncertain and temporary; the value of spiritual treasures is fixed and eternal. Small examples of our generosity now result in greater generosity to us later. God tests out our fitness to receive the true riches of heaven by how we use our material possessions on this earth. If our pocketbooks are not at God’s disposal, our hearts are probably not surrendered to God either. When we cannot handle money wisely, we surely cannot handle spiritual treasures that are of much greater value. When we lead others to Christ by our wise financial investments toward eternal dividends, we will reap eternal rewards later in heaven (v. 9).
All that we have, including our treasures, our time, and our talents belong to God, and we should manage them wisely for God. When we do that, we will reap great rewards in this life and in the life to come, so that we will become “rich toward God” (12:21). So, our faithfulness as a steward in this life determines the reward we will receive in the heavenly kingdom (Matt. 25:34). Faithfulness in this life with the riches of this world will merit the rewards of true riches in heaven. Trustworthy stewardship here on earth will one day be exchanged in heaven for genuine ownership (vv. 11–12). The worship of God and the worship of gold are mutually exclusive since they demand opposite loyalties. If we worship gold, the motivation will be to accumulate it at any cost; on the other hand, if we worship God, the motivation will be to give money to those things that matter most to Him!
Through this parable, Jesus was not denouncing money (vv. 10–11). On the contrary, our level of responsibility in His kingdom will depend on how well we manage the resources that God gives us in this life. The ‘bottom line’ of this parable is that all our earthly goods ultimately come from God and belong to Him (James 1:17). They are not really ours; we only manage them on His behalf. Any other outlook leads to a divided mind. We can't serve God if we're convinced that our money and property belong to us alone, and we'll inevitably end up serving them.
Thus, faithfulness and honesty are essential for us to receive great rewards from God in the future! When we are faithful in what is least, we will also be faithful in much. When we are honest in little things that is how we will respond to big things. Faithfulness and honesty in all areas of our lives is one way we can bring honor to Jesus Christ our Savior. Whatever we do in word or deed, let us do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him (Col. 3:17). This will indicate that we are sincere, faithful and honest, and eventually this will guarantee us great rewards in heaven.