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?’
“‘Nine hundred gallons of olive oil,’ he replied.
“The manager told him, ‘Take your bill, sit down quickly, and make it four hundred and fifty.’
“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.”
– Luke 16: 1-8
once knew a woman who did not have very much money, yet she was very wealthy. Her home was always opened to diverse groups of people from all over the world. Her wealth was not a lot of money in the bank. It was the love and charity of her heart.
She has since gone home to be with the Lord. No one ever entered her home and left hungry. She was a good steward of God’s gifts to her.
The above text has probably caused many Christians to scratch their heads. 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 them.
The objective here is that we make use of opportunities, particularly to evangelize, sharing the gospel with people. Situations present themselves to us Christians all the time, but we let the moment slip away. There are always opportunities to share the gospel. We must use them.
The evil steward in the text realized that his master would soon dismiss him because he had been a dishonest steward. He would be out of work and on the street.
When that happened, he would probably be ostracized by the people with whom he did business. However, he was shrewd and took advantage of an opportunity to change his future.
He used his master’s fortune to establish lasting relationships with those with whom he did business. His method was not an honest one, yet it was cunning.
What was Jesus’ point? This man was dishonest, but he used the wealth at his disposal to cultivate lasting relationships.
We in the Christian community, have the wealth of God at our disposal. But we do not use them.
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. As is said in Latin, carpe diem: seize the day.
We should not let opportunities slip away from us. We should take advantage of opportunities to invite people to church, to share the gospel with those with whom we come into contact. That’s what we, the people of the light, are called to do.
Jesus says, “Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much, and whoever is dishonest with very little will also be dishonest with much.” God has given some of us much and others very little, yet comparatively, those with little seem to do more good. Amen.
• Reverend Samuel M. Boodle, pastor at the Lutheran Church of Nassau, 119 John F. Kennedy Dr can be reached at P.O. Box N 4794, Nassau, Bahamas; or telephone 426-9084; website: www.nassaulutheranchurch.org.