I am not sure if there is anything harder than being faithful in the little things. We live in a world that tells us bigger is better . . . a bigger car, a bigger house, a bigger office, a bigger title, a bigger paycheck, a bigger bank account. The list is endless. First, let me say that bigger is not always better. Bigger often brings with it a much bigger headache and heartache. But, if God does indeed have something bigger in his plans for your life, you can be assured of one thing – you will not get it until you have been faithful in the little things you have already been given. In other words, God is calling each one of us to grow where we are planted. Why? Because this is the place we currently are, and until we are faithful with what we have, God will not give to us what we desire.
“His master replied, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!’” (Matthew 25:23).
In reading the entire parable, it is important that we do not narrow the focus to the world of finance.The point of the parable is rooted in the truth that we have all been given gifts, talents and abilities from God, and we are expected to use what we have been given to expand the cause of His Kingdom.
Entrusted with talents
Another point in this parable is found in the fact that each servant was entrusted with a different level of talents. God has not created us equal regarding our gifts, talents and abilities.
One of the great challenges in the church today comes under the heading of comparing. We compare what we have been given with what someone else has been given. When we come up short, we feel cheated or at least not as valuable or usable by God. This keeps many stuck in the pews, which is exactly what the devil wants. Remember, the two servants in the story who did put their talents to good use are praised identically. They did the best they would with what God had given to them. Jesus makes it perfectly clear that we have all been called to serve him. Regardless of what we have been given, little or much, the Bible knows nothing of the idle saint. Yet, just a cursory glance around and we can see how some do much with little, and some do little with much. So, what are you doing in service to your Lord with what he has given to you in which to serve him?
A willing heart
Perhaps there is no greater story in the Bible about faithfulness in little things than the boy with five loaves and two small fish. Faithfulness in little things was indeed a very BIG thing in the feeding of the five thousand. When Jesus told his disciples to tell the people to sit down so they could be fed, they could not imagine how this would be possible. The only one who had anything was a little boy and what he had was not much. But he was faithful in the little things and gave what he had – five loaves and two fish – to Jesus who multiplied it to feed the multitudes and they even had leftovers.
Jesus is contrasting the disciples with the little boy in this story. They saw what they believed could not happen with so little, while the little boy saw what he believed could happen. The disciples saw the challenge before them. The little boy saw the Christ before him. The disciples focused on what they did not have. The little boy focused on what he did have. To be sure, faithfulness in little things is truly a BIG thing.
So, where in your life right now is Jesus calling you to be faithful in the little things? In your resources? In your education? In your life experience? In a friendship? In your single walk with Christ? In service at your church? In the worthy investment of your time, talent or treasure? God has given to you everything you need to do everything he is calling you to do right now, right where this finds you. Like the little boy with the meager meal, give what little you have in the service of your Lord, and watch him return to you multiple blessings. God is in the business of making much out of little because then there can be no doubt that the glory belongs to God alone.
This is the Gospel. This is grace for your race. Never forget that . . . Amen!
Tommy Boland is senior pastor of Cross Community Church in Deerfield Beach. He blogs regularly at tommyboland.com.