I apologize for being late with this post. I just returned from visiting my son in North Carolina. It was a very good visit.
Jesus said to the disciples, "There was a rich man who had a manager, and charges were brought to him that this man was squandering his property. So he summoned him and said to him, `What is this that I hear about you? Give me an accounting of your management, because you cannot be my manager any longer.' Then the manager said to himself, `What will I do, now that my master is taking the position away from me? I am not strong enough to dig, and I am ashamed to beg. I have decided what to do so that, when I am dismissed as manager, people may welcome me into their homes.' So, summoning his master's debtors one by one, he asked the first, `How much do you owe my master?' He answered, `A hundred jugs of olive oil.' He said to him, `Take your bill, sit down quickly, and make it fifty.' Then he asked another, `And how much do you owe?' He replied, `A hundred containers of wheat.' He said to him, `Take your bill and make it eighty.' And his master commended the dishonest manager because he had acted shrewdly; for the children of this age are more shrewd in dealing with their own generation than are the children of light. And I tell you, make friends for yourselves by means of dishonest wealth so that when it is gone, they may welcome you into the eternal homes.
"Whoever is faithful in a very little is faithful also in much; and whoever is dishonest in a very little is dishonest also in much. If then you have not been faithful with the dishonest wealth, who will entrust to you the true riches? And if you have not been faithful with what belongs to another, who will give you what is your own? No slave can serve two masters; for a slave will either hate the one and love the other, or be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and wealth."
Let me give a brief summary of this story. The rich man finds out that his manager is squandering the rich man's property. He tells the manager he is fired and as a last act the manager decides to at least win the good will of the community and reduces the debt of the people who owe the rich man money. The rich man gets wind of the deals the manager is making and praises the manager for his shrewdness.
There are several ways to look at this parable from today's perspective. Lets put ourselves in the place of the steward. We have been given life by God and we are expected to manage our life well. We are charged to look after not only ourselves but also others and in reality, all of God's creation. We are to be stewards of this planet for a short time and then our end will come. God will require an accounting of what we have done and it would be in our best interest to make a positive report. It would be far better for us to use good judgment in the management of Gods creation rather than waiting until we are near the end of our time and then try and fix things as the manager in our story did.
And, sometimes good stewardship means not always taking the safe route. I was looking at another interpretation of this reading and I found this passage.