The issue of financial manipulation at the expense of others is a rampant problem. We read of CEOs embezzling funds, individuals overspending and then declaring bankruptcy, businesses charging high interest rates on credit cards. The kind of manipulative behavior of the dishonest steward in our Gospel this Sunday is not so uncommon. What is perhaps uncommon is the behavior to which Jesus calls us who are his disciples.
Daily, faithful disciples face issues dealing with self interest, trustworthiness, honesty. These issues force us to make choices revealing our real goals for life. The foundation for all our choices must be that God holds first place in our hearts.
When we choose to give God first place in our hearts, we live simpler lives, we experience serving others as serving God and we find being trustworthy and honest is its own reward. These ways of living show the kind of shrewdness Jesus praises and bring us to eternal happiness.