Some days at work I don’t give my best. I just go through the motions. On those days my boss, the company, or the other employees barely cross my mind. On those days would I label my behavior as dishonorable? Would I admit to being irresponsible? Here Jesus addresses the issue of personal responsibility. Through the parable, Jesus indicates that personal responsibility entails respect for God, others, and ourselves.
The dishonest and irresponsible behavior of the manager in Jesus’ story grabs our attention. Yes, he sort of does his job; but he also squanders his employer’s assets. He disrespects his employer with incompetent management. However, when confronted, he accepts responsibility and attempts to make matters right. By acting with wit, the manager secures his future in case he loses his position. By doing so, he gains the admiration of his employer.
What does our workday look like when we take responsibility for our behavior? Would we even consider shirking our responsibility or stealing time or paper clips?
Personal responsibility reforms us. Those days when we act irresponsibly become red flag days that alert us to danger. They remind us to honor God’s blessings in accountable ways and as opportunities to demonstrate trustworthy behavior.
Through our dependable actions, we show respect for God, respect for others, and respect for ourselves. Jesus asks that we demonstrate personal responsibility for the common good. Give your best.
Lord Jesus, thank you for today’s opportunity to show respect to you for my many blessings. Amen.
Three of the texts for this Sunday deal with intercession; although they certainly will not make praying any easier, they may make it more hopeful. The readings from both Jeremiah and the psalm depict the anguish of one who identi es with the pain of God’s faithless people. Prophet and psalmist grieve with and for the people and join in the persistent and impatient plea for health and renewal. But God turns out not to be an impassive or distant deity but one bound up with the anguish of the prophet and the anguish of the people. Likewise, the psalmist discovers that the God who refuses to tolerate Israel’s faithlessness nevertheless cannot nally abandon the chosen community. First Timothy also challenges readers to offer prayers of intercession and speci es that they be made for those in positions of political leadership.
• Read Jeremiah 8:18–9:1. Jeremiah weeps for the self-will and disrespect of his people toward God. What do you see in the contemporary world that causes you to weep?
• Read Psalm 4. How do you, like David, acknowledge God’s guidance in your life?
• Read 1 Timothy 2:1-7. Paul reminds us to pray for everyone, no matter their relation to us. How can you be more inten- tional in praying for others?
• Read Luke 16:1-13. In what ways can you take more per- sonal responsibility in being a steward for the things God bestows to humanity?
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