“Then he asked the second, ‘And how much do you owe?’ “‘A thousand bushels of wheat,’ he replied. “He told him, ‘Take your bill and make it eight hundred.’ “The master commended the dishonest manager because he had acted shrewdly. For the people of this world are more shrewd in dealing with their own kind than are the people of the light.”
There should be a kind of shock to us in verse 8 – the master commended the dishonest manager for committing the very acts which were going to cost him his job! How does one accused of a crime avoid the consequences by recommitting the same crime? The world often applauds those who find ways to succeed, even when the means are less than honorable.
Jesus holds up this example to warn us that the world is not always fair and we must keep our earthly desires in check lest we slip into their acceptance of this behavior. He warns that “the people of this world are more shrewd in dealing with their own kind than are the people of the light.” This is an indication that those who follow Him must continue to be children of light in a dark world, sharing God’s love even with those who are “shrewd”.
Do we allow, or worse applaud, successful endeavors even if they use questionable methods? We must be careful to examine ourselves and not merely point out the poor behavior of others. We must love the Lord more than any possession and know that only through Him can we hope to gain those things that have eternal value.
Gracious God, it is Your love reaching for us that keeps us aware of Your promise. Help us to be more concerned with our relationship with You and others than human success or wealth. Amen.