This one is a head scratcher! At the surface, it sounds as if Jesus is commending someone for cheating their boss. But I wonder if Jesus also wants us to consider the impact of the manager’s actions on those whose debts he reduces. Despite Jewish law that forbade this practice, it was common for managers at that time to charge exorbitant interest rates, keeping some off the top for themselves. If the manager was knocking the interest off the loan, it would have been an incredible benefit to the borrowers and would have brought him in line with God’s intentions. In offering forgiveness for others’ debt, maybe he was recognizing his own need for forgiveness from the people he’d harmed. Maybe that’s part of the shrewd management that Jesus commended – management of his relationships with people he’d harmed. Nonetheless, this parable invites us to consider our relationship with wealth and how we use it.
Consider your finances. What percentage of it do you use to benefit yourself only? What percentage benefits your family? How much goes to benefit others? To what degree does your relationship with money affect your spiritual health? Are there steps you could take to create a better balance?
In prayer, offer a prayer of thanksgiving for the resources that have been entrusted to you. Commit yourself to using them wisely and as a benefit to others.