According to the parable of the unjust steward, Jesus thinks those who follow God tend to be dumber than those of the world. We don’t quite have the same killer instincts, the desire to be shrewd and calculating, not for selfish ambition, but for godliness and eternal reward.
Jesus then concludes the parable with a list of possible ways we can be as wise as the world. Again, let me state, those of the world have no godly wisdom. The fact that they make more sensible decisions than we do is a shot against believers. But Jesus does not want us to be shrewd for us, but rather for Him and with His stuff.
His first application is in Luke 16:9
“Make to yourselves friends of the mammon of unrighteousness; that, when ye fail, they may receive you into everlasting habitations.”
The unjust steward was concerned for his state in life if he got fired, so he gave guys who owed his master a financial break, hoping that this financial favor would cause them to care for him later on.
In the same way, believers are to use their money to win friends, then at the Day of Judgment, these acts of kindness stand up for us. We don’t work our way into salvation, so He is obviously referring to works of faith. If I give all I have to the poor but have no love it profits nothing.
He’s not looking for a manipulation of the system or conniving, He is saying that by faith, with love, use your physical goods in such a way that you’ll receive eternal, spiritual reward. Be as shrewd with your stuff in using it for God as you do in saving $1 on a 2-liter of Coke.
We show regularly our dismissal of eternal rewards by our lack of effort, wisdom, and application of basic human ingenuity to obtain them and yet apply all those things to help us buy the toys we need for our comfort. Our comforts we can afford condemn us.
Be wise in using what God has given you to get a great return on investment for eternity.