We need to be clever about things that really matter.

The Gospel story of the manager who is about to get fired and devises a scheme to make best of his situation and his future by further mismanagement is confusing and intriguing.

But it shows how we can be wily about the concerns of this earth and clueless about things that really matter.

What the manager does to insure his future is to ingratiate himself with the debtors. He calls them in and rewrites their contracts, lowering their debts significantly. What he does is simply wrong; it’s cheating the owner.

Now, Jesus is not advocating that we “wheel and deal.” He is pointing out how we often use our wits to get out of tight situations, but we don’t give the things that really matter the time of day.

We do not stop during our busy day to reflect upon our relation with God and with our family and friends or how to mend the hurts that strain or break those relationships. Nor do we reflect on how our actions damage our inmost selves.

And we ignore those who are suffering from loneliness or addiction.

But we are quick to fix the messes we create for ourselves. Like the manager in the Gospel story, we sometime even compliment ourselves for our crafty solutions.

For what really counts, we plead that we are helpless to resolve.

But we are not. God keeps his promise to be with us and to give us the courage and strength to change our lives and the lives of others.

We need to be as clever about what really counts as that cunning manager.