“Give me an accounting of your management,” the master said to his manager. We’ve all heard those words. It may not have been those exact words but at some time in our life, probably many times, an accounting has been demanded.
The IRS invites us to bring our papers and account for the numbers on our tax return. Did you ever get called to the principal’s office? You sit down with a therapist or spiritual director and he or she says, “So tell me about your life. What’s going on?” The boss says she wants to see you in her office. You come home and your spouse speaks those four dreaded words, “We need to talk.” Each Sunday we come to the place in worship when we’re invited to confess our sins against God and our neighbor. In those situations, an accounting of our management is being demanded. It’s not easy. Giving an accounting can be an uncomfortable and even a fearful time. We review our words and actions wondering, “What have I done? What have I left undone? What will happen to me? What will I do?”
No one likes to have to give an accounting. We’re private about our books. Not only do we not want others to see the balance, sometimes we don’t want to see the balance. We don’t want to face and deal with that reality. But that’s what this accounting asks of us. You see the accounting demanded of this manager, just like the ones demanded of us, is really an accounting of his life. It asks us to open the books of our life and examine, audit, what we are doing with our life and who we are serving. It raises important questions. What are we doing with the resources, assets, and how are we managing the gifts entrusted to us?
What if the accounting asked of us is never complete, the books are never closed and the bottom line is never tallied, until there is new life, until there is a commendation? What if the accounting is not about finding wrongdoing but new life? What if it’s about grace rather than punishment? The accounting of our management isn’t about numbers, wrongdoing, or punishment, but about helping us see and orient our lives in a new direction. It opens us to new possibilities. It points us to our eternal home.
“Give me an accounting of your management.” What are we doing with our lives? Who are we serving?
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