‘Command those who are rich in this present world (…) to do good, (…) In this way they will lay up treasure for themselves as a firm foundation for the coming age.’ 1 Timothy 6:17-19
In this parable about the dishonest manager, the last verse is essential. Here, Jesus repeats almost exactly the words of the dishonest manager, which he spoke to himself: ‘I know what I’ll do so that, when I lose my job here, people will welcome me into their houses.’ Jesus calls this man ‘dishonest’ and so does not condone his behaviour at all, but the Lord points out to us that ‘the people of this world are more shrewd in dealing with their own kind than are the people of the light’ (:8).
This bad man thought about the future, when he would lose his job as a manager. He did so in an inferior manner, but carefully considered, in fact so shrewdly that his master commended him for it. After all, much bitterness of the debtors disappeared through this, and encouraged by their diminished debt they will have worked harder to repay the rest.
Actually, we all are managers of everything that God entrusted us with in this world. But have we ever considered that once God will ask us to give an account of our management? What did we do with everything that was entrusted to us? If we have only thought of our own benefit, we have used it all wrongly and thereby wasted it.
But if we are aware that, one day, we will have to give an account of our management when we die, then we will use everything entrusted to us gladly to serve others with it, for the sake of Christ. When we show genuine concern for others and want to be involved with the people around us, then somewhat of the Kingdom of God will shine through us. Then we will meet many of our neighbours in eternity before God.