Does the parable of the shrewd manager make you squirm? Are you puzzled by Jesus' command to be shrewd as serpents and innocent as doves? (Matt.10:16)
You've probably read the parable in Luke 16:1-8. The shrewd manager is commended by Jesus. Have you wondered why Jesus told the story and how he could possible commend the dishonest manager?
We've been told “shrewd” is an ugly word. We've been told that, as Christians, we are to be “nice.”
Lawrence says we must separate shrewd from its negative connotations. He writes, “Applying the right amount of force at the right place at the right time is exactly how shrewd works.” (27)
Jesus is “telling us that we must beat Satan (and those in his service) at his own game by practicing a greater level of shrewdness than he does, but with none of his cruel intent or evil motivation.” (34)
Shrewdness – understanding how things work, then leveraging that knowledge to apply the right force in the right place at the right time.
Innocence – freedom from guilt of any kind. (34)
Lawrence helps us identify the habits that will help us understand how things work. He gives a six step simple path to shrewd living.
“If we are not shrewd, Jesus warns, we stand no chance against the carnivorous momentum of the one who 'prowls around...seeking someone to devour' (1 Peter 5:8).” (152)
You've probably never heard a sermon on this essential parable. I learned so much from this book! I highly recommend it.
Find out more about the book, the author and watch a book trailer by going to http://shrewdbook.com/
Rick Lawrence is the author of many books and has been the editor of Group Magazine for over twenty years.
David C Cook, 270 pages.