1 Then Jesus said to the disciples, “There was a rich man who had a manager, and charges were brought to him that this man was squandering his property. 2 So he summoned him and said to him, “What is this that I hear about you? Give me an accounting of your management, because you cannot be my manager any longer.’ 3 Then the manager said to himself, “What will I do, now that my master is taking the position away from me? I am not strong enough to dig, and I am ashamed to beg. 4 I have decided what to do so that, when I am dismissed as manager, people may welcome me into their homes.’ 5 So, summoning his master’s debtors one by one, he asked the first, “How much do you owe my master?’ 6 He answered, “A hundred jugs of olive oil.’ He said to him, “Take your bill, sit down quickly, and make it fifty.’ 7 Then he asked another, “And how much do you owe?’ He replied, “A hundred containers of wheat.’ He said to him, “Take your bill and make it eighty.’ 8 And his master commended the dishonest manager because he had acted shrewdly; for the children of this age are more shrewd in dealing with their own generation than are the children of light. 9 And I tell you, make friends for yourselves by means of dishonest wealth so that when it is gone, they may welcome you into the eternal homes. 10 “Whoever is faithful in a very little is faithful also in much; and whoever is dishonest in a very little is dishonest also in much. 11 If then you have not been faithful with the dishonest wealth, who will entrust to you the true riches? 12 And if you have not been faithful with what belongs to another, who will give you what is your own? 13 No slave can serve two masters; for a slave will either hate the one and love the other, or be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and wealth.” Luke 16:1-13
Sometimes a guy gets a little too greedy
and squanders what is entrusted to him.
Then he does what he must
In desperate times shrewdness
becomes an essential Christian virtue.
Because it’s hard to survive on your own
in a subprime day trading world of high interest rates
and predatory lending,
and those payday loan stores
with lively flashing neon signs
and cast iron bars over windows,
looking like a casino boat jailhouse
or an asylum.
And bad credit to the guy who can’t pay for
his ambulance ride to the hospital
after taking too many pills
because the factory shut down,
only to be replaced by a strip mall
selling zebra striped iPhone covers.
in this kind of world,
who can blame a manager for being a little shrewd,
especially when shrewdness leads to mercy?
He’s making new friends,
albeit through dishonest means.
But a friend is a friend,
and the burden of a debt lifted
is a special kind of grace.