2 06 2009
Day 7
The Story of the Crooked Manager

Use every adversity to stimulate yourself to creative survival, to concentrate your attention on the bare essentials, so you’ll live, really live, and not complacently just get by on good behavior.

The owner of a large trading goods store had hired a manager to look after his clients. He got reports that the manager had been taking advantage of his position by running up huge personal expenses. So the owner called him in and said, ‘What’s this I hear about you? You’re fired. And I want a complete audit of your books.’

The manager said to himself, ‘What am I going to do? I’ve lost my job as manager, I’m not strong enough for a laboring job, and I’m too proud to beg. . . . Ah, I’ve got a plan. Here’s what I’ll do . . . then when I’m turned out into the street, I will have no trouble finding another position.’

One after another, he called in the people who were in debt to the company. He said to the first, ‘How much do you owe my boss?’ He replied, ‘A hundred jugs of olive oil.’ The manager said, ‘Here, take your bill, sit down here—quick now— write fifty.’

To the next he said, ‘And you, what do you owe?’ He answered, ‘A hundred sacks of wheat.’ He said, ‘Take your bill, write in eighty.’  In this same manner, he approached all the clients who were indebted to his boss and reduced each ones bill so that he might gain favor with them.

Now here’s a surprise: The boss praised the crooked manager! And why? Because he knew how to look after himself. Streetwise people are smarter, in this regard, than law-abiding citizens. They are on constant alert, looking for angles, surviving by their wits.

I want you to be smart in the same way—but for what is right—using every adversity to stimulate you to creative survival, to concentrate your attention on the bare essentials, so you’ll live, really live, and not complacently just get by on good behavior.”
If you’re honest in small things, you’ll be honest in big things;
if you’re a crook in small things, you’ll be a crook in big things.
If you’re not honest in small jobs, who will put you in charge of the store?

This is a story I stumbled onto, a while ago, that intrigued me. You may or may not recognize it; it comes from the Bible and was told by Jesus, to his Disciples, as a lesson in how to live a life that is enjoyable.

When I first encountered this story, it was written in King James English, which is very difficult for people today to understand. Fortunately, over the years, there have been several translations written, that are easier for us to understand. For the lesson today, I chose to use the Message Bible as my source and have paraphrased the verses, a bit, in order to create a more relevant dialogue for today. For anyone who may be interested, the Scripture reference for this passage is found in the New Testament, in the book of Luke, in chapter 16, verses 1 through 12. You may read it in any translation you like, each one may read a bit different but the general idea remains the same.

I want to focus, primarily, on the key verse, which I highlighted at the beginning.

Use every adversity to stimulate yourself to creative survival,

This suggests that, in order to survive in this world, we must get creative. Life is full of adversities and every one of them can destroy you OR you can find creative ways of using those adversities to your advantage.

There’s an old saying, “necessity is the mother of invention”, so the more you need a way to get out of adversity, the more opportunity you have to stimulate a creative way out of it.

to concentrate your attention on the bare essentials,

This challenges us to take a serious look at our life style and concentrate on those things that are absolutely essential, not just things we feel we can’t do without, but the basics we require in order to survive and function in society. It is not our job, nor is it our desire, to tell you what to do here, but if you are struggling, you may find that there are things you can either return to the store or sell or even give away or toss out. The last part is the most important part because, most of us are pack rats and collect things we will never use and, clutter tends to cause depression, which is a major cause of financial and social struggles.

so you’ll live, really live, and not complacently just get by on good behavior.

Let’s face it…good behavior is great and also…very necessary, but if you want to REALLY LIVE, you need more than that. Most people in today’s society are way too complacent, willing to put up with anything so that they don’t cause problems. As a rule, people are afraid of conflict. Now, as we mentioned on our first post, it is important not to put yourself in harms way, but not everyone out there is out to hurt you.

So, in conclusion, be aware of your environment and how people are reacting, so you can stimulate creative ways of using the adversities to help you see what you need, and not jump at every thing you find, so that your life can be rich and fulfilled.

Now add your 64 pennies to the collection to bring your total up to $1.27. Bet ya thought I forgot this part, huh. So, next time you will need 128 pennies… oops, I mean $1.28.

Catch ya on the flip side!




One response

16 07 2014
The Isaacs

is this working

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