“Jesus told his disciples: ‘There was a rich man whose manager was accused of wasting his possessions. So he called him in and asked him, ‘What is this I hear about you? Give an account of your management, because you cannot be manager any longer.’
“The manager said to himself, ‘What shall I do now? My master is taking away my job. I’m not strong enough to dig, and I’m ashamed to beg — I know what I’ll do so that, when I lose my job here, people will welcome me into their houses.’
“So he called in each one of his master’s debtors. He asked the first, ‘How much do you owe my master?’” – Luke 16:1-5
A good salesman never allows a good opportunity to pass him by. He takes advantage of every opportunity that passes his way.
We Christians have opportunities to tell others of the good news of Jesus Christ and to extend charity every day. Yet we let them pass us by.
The above text probably has caused much concern for Christians. At first reading, it seems that Jesus is promoting dishonesty. However, instead, he is showing how the people of the world seize opportunities and make them work for themselves.
The objective here is that we Christians should take advantage of opportunities to evangelize, by sharing the gospel with people. Opportunities present themselves to us Christians all the time. We should not let them slip away.
The evil manager in the story realized that his master was about to dismiss him. When that happened, he would probably be ostracized by the people with whom he did business.
Consequently, he needed to establish better and lasting relationships with his master’s clients. Therefore, in his shrewdness, he took advantage of an opportunity to change his future dilemma. He used his master’s fortune to establish relationships that would promote his interest when he was no longer employed.
His method was not an honest one, yet it was cunning. It was not his dishonesty but his cunning to seize the opportunity and make it work for him.
What was Jesus’ point? This man was dishonest but yet he used the wealth at his disposal to cultivate lasting relationships.
We Christians have the wealth of God at our disposal. But we do not use it. God wants us to use our Christian wealth to establish everlasting relationships. Like the evil steward, we too can use God’s wealth to build his kingdom here on earth.
Therefore, using a Latin expression, I say carpe diem – otherwise: “seize the day”. Don’t let opportunities slip away from you. Make use of opportunities that present themselves. Share the gospel and provide for the needy and less fortunate among us.
Using the evil manager as an example, one day you might be on top of the world and the other, down on your luck. Don’t treat people poorly because you might be a little better off than they are.
As we make our pilgrimage down here below, unlike the evil manager who was looking forward to earthly glory, we Christians are looking forward to heavenly glory.
Therefore, we should show compassion with our sight set on eternity. Our wealth will not get us to heaven, but what we do with that wealth will. Earthly wealth causes greed and a hardness of heart, while heaven’s treasures are of the nature of God.
We are looking forward to heavenly glory. Therefore, in using the manager as an example, we would do what is right for our soul. Amen.
• Rev. Samuel M. Boodle, pastor at The Lutheran Church of Nassau,119 John F. Kennedy Drive, can be reached at P.O. Box N 4794, Nassau, Bahamas; or telephone: 426-9084; E-mail: email@example.com; website: www.Nassaulutheranchurch.org.