“He [Jesus] also said to the disciples, ‘There was a rich man who had a manager, and charges were brought to him that this man was wasting his possessions. And he called him and said to him, “What is this that I hear about you? Turn in the account of your management, for you can no longer be manager.” And the manager said to himself, “What shall I do, since my master is taking the management away from me? I am not strong enough to dig, and I am ashamed to beg. I have decided what to do, so that when I am removed from management, people may receive me into their houses.” So, summoning his master’s debtors one by one, he said to the first, “How much do you owe my master?” He said, “A hundred measures of oil.” He said to him, “Take your bill, and sit down quickly and write fifty.” Then he said to another, “And how much do you owe?” He said, “A hundred measures of wheat.” He said to him, “Take your bill, and write eighty.” The master commended the dishonest manager for his shrewdness. For the sons of this world are more shrewd in dealing with their own generation than the sons of light.'”(Luke 16:1-8 ESV)
I love the story of the dishonest manager. It’s hilarious—the man has absolutely no morals, but he has a huge amount of creativity, and he knows exactly how to use it to get what he wants. I’m pretty sure his plan worked for quite a long time—grateful people would be willing to let him sleep on the couch in return for his dishonest help.
Of course, it would’ve been better if the man had used his creativity in an honest way. Jesus isn’t encouraging us to do wrong! But He does want us to use all the gifts that God is given us—including intelligence, creativity, and the ability to plan ahead. If wicked people can use these things, how much more should the people of God!
So look around you. What talents or gifts do you have that you might use for the Lord—things that maybe you never thought of? My husband, for instance, has a gift for teasing people, even to the point of irritation. You might not think that was a gift from God, but I’ve seen him use it to pull people out of times when they are very unhappy or just want to give up. Some of them get better just to spite him!
Think about your own life. Do you have a quirky sense of humor—are you gifted at brewing coffee or beer—can you calm down frightened children and animals? Whatever strange quirks God has gifted you with, consider giving them back to Him. After all, they are reflections of the loving, creative God who made us all—and who did the most outrageous, creative thing we can imagine to save us from the power of evil. Who could have ever imagined a God who would become a human being, live a difficult life, and allow His own creatures to torture and crucify Him—all to bring us home to God, restored to God’s family as His own children?
That’s creativity. That’s love. That’s Jesus—who died and rose to make You His own.
Prayer: Dear Lord, open my eyes to see new ways for me to serve You. Amen.
This Daily Devotion was written by Dr. Kari Vo.
Originally published in The Lutheran Hour on September 15, 2022
Used by permission from International Lutheran Laymen’s League, all rights reserved
1. Name three gifts or talents you have, however minor.
2. What blessings do these gifts bring to your life?
3. How do they reflect the God who made you in His image?