You are the ones who justify yourselves in the eyes of others,
but God knows your hearts.
What people value highly is detestable in God’s sight.
I’ve read the parable of the shrewd manager fifty times or more, yet when this verse popped up alone, I had no idea where it fell in the chronology of scripture.
Jesus told a parable that included a teaching on everyone’s least favorite subject–money. No one wants to mix finances with religion. Scripture tells us the Pharisees were sneering by the time God’s Son finished this particular message. Jesus knew these men used money to make themselves popular among those who could give them the power they longed for. He was also aware that they took bribes from those under them. This verse told the religious leaders He was on to them.
But in the twenty-first century, Jesus’ words call us to evaluate our motives. Most of us don’t want to embrace our mistakes. Humans spend a lot of time spreading blame and making excuses for their behavior–justifying themselves. This verse asks us to be honest with ourselves–who are we trying to impress?
It’s a question I ask myself when I begin to feel nervous in front of people. When you’re asked to pray out loud for a fellowship dinner and decline, you might need to examine why. But there are two times when it’s most important time to pause and reflect. The first is in that moment right before you’re about to blame someone or something else for your mistake. And the second is when you’re about to spend money you don’t have on something you don’t need.
We worry about what others think when we say the wrong words–those kinds of thoughts (your worries and the other person’s evaluation) are detestable in God’s sight. We don’t want others to think badly of us when we’re running late or mess something up–your heavenly Father despises those worries. Our friend got new clothes and is going to a concert–your Creator doesn’t believe you’re missing out.
The closer we get to Jesus, the more our priorities align with His. This little verse in Luke is one of those Marks on the Wall. When the things humans value become detestable to us and we focus our attention on what would please our Savior, then we’ll know we’re growing. You are valuable to Him.
Have you seen my first fiction novel yet?
Check out Adira: Journey to Freedom. Learn more about the book of Nehemiah
and discover the trials of a young girl in 444 B.C.