Faithful in Little Things

October 3, 2022

It is very clear in the teachings of Jesus that He is concerned about our faithfulness in little things. As Jesus concluded His parable of the unrighteous steward, He said this: “He who is faithful in a very little thing is faithful also in much; and he who is unrighteous in a very little thing is unrighteous also in much. Therefore if you have not been faithful in the use of unrighteous wealth, who will entrust the true riches to you? And if you have not been faithful in the use of that which is another’s, who will give you that which is your own?” (Luke 16:10-12 NAS95)

In the parable of the minas in Luke 19, the master said to his faithful slave, “Well done, good slave, because you have been faithful in a very little thing, you are to be in authority over ten cities.” (Luke 19:17 NAS95)

Two important principles are laid out in these verses. First, we see that those who are faithful in the little things will also be faithful in the big things. Those who will not be faithful in little things will be unfaithful in much. Second, we see that God gives more to those who use what they have been given. The faithful slave had a relatively small amount of money entrusted to him, but because he used it wisely, much, much more was given to him by the Master.

Can you see how these principles will play out in our own lives? If we want to grow in wisdom, we must ask ourselves, are we being faithful with the wisdom God has already given? If we want to be used in greater ways in the kingdom, we must ask ourselves, are we fulfilling the roles we have already been placed in? Are we wondering why we have grown stagnant in our spiritual growth? Perhaps we need to ask ourselves if we are neglecting the little things. Are we being faithful in our speech, or do we let so-called “minor curse words” come from our mouths? Are we being honest with others, or do we think that “little white lies” are no big deal?

The “little things” are a big deal to Jesus. We will never move forward spiritually if we willfully neglect them. But if we will be faithful in little, we will also be faithful in much. If we will faithfully use whatever God has given, He will entrust us with more. Let us strive to be good and faithful servants of our Lord.

How Do You Spell Success?

September 29, 2018

When it comes to ministry, how do you spell success? In many occupations, the marks of success are clearer: promotions, position on the corporate ladder, or size of your bank account. When it comes to full-time labors for a church, what are the marks of success? Kent and Barbara Hughes in their book, Liberating Ministry from the Success Syndrome, tell their own struggles. Kent reached a point of depression. Ministry was filled with frustrations and few visible rewards. How do you go on year after year? In their search for answers, one of the passages that struck home was 1 Corinthians 4:1-2.

This is how one should regard us, as servants of Christ and stewards of the mysteries of God. Moreover, it is required of stewards that they be found faithful. (ESV)

How do you spell success? F–A–I–T–H–F–U–L. After their study of the Scriptures, the Hughes decided that it was not success as the world views it, but faithfulness that was the “success” ingredient for ministry. From this liberating discovery they began to strive for:

  1. To be faithful (obedient to God’s Word and hardworking)
  2. To serve God and others
  3. To love God
  4. To believe he is (to believe what we believe)
  5. To pray
  6. To pursue holiness
  7. To develop a positive attitude

Their emphasis on faithfulness helped them pursue ministry without frustration and disappointment. This emphasis on faithfulness in ministry is a help to full-time ministry, but I think it is also applicable to those very active in the ministry of the church. Ministry is often done quietly and without notice. The emphasis on faithfulness puts matters in perspective. But we can also be assured that God will not forget our ministry even if others never notice it.

So also good works are conspicuous, and even those that are not cannot remain hidden. (1 Timothy 5:25, ESV)

Freeing ourselves from the success syndrome is not always easy. Some who try to serve become broken tools in the Master’s hand because they have desired the limelight. Others are tempered by the trials: the lesson of faithfulness is learned, and lives are blessed. Success for servants is spelled F-A-I-T-H-F-U-L.