“”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.” Luke 16:10 NASB
My mother would often quote this scripture to us as children. Small children tend to have big plans. My nephew – when only 5 years old – was asked what he would like to be when he grew up. His reply – “A footballer, a doctor, a pirate and a dump truck driver.”
As an adult, I am thankful that God doesn’t expect us to do so much in the little time we have on this earth. He only wants us to be faithful in the small things. If we learn to do just that – and I am still trying to learn – then our lives will be blessed. He doesn’t expect perfection as we understand perfection. We often imagine that in view of the greatness of God, He is constantly dissatisfied with our efforts. We imagine Him marking our work, “D. Not good enough. Could do better.”
Hannah Whitall Smith in her book, ‘The God of all Comfort’ reminds us again and again that God is not a hard or cruel taskmaster. Unlike Pharaoh who expected the Israelites to make bricks ‘without hay’, God supplies us with all that we need – whether strength or skill or wisdom – for the work that He gives us to do. As Jesus promised, His yoke is easy and His burden light. He understands our weaknesses and He expects us to constantly depend on Him as we tackle the small tasks assigned to us each day. But He also wants us to be trustworthy.
“Whatever you are doing, let your hearts be in your work, as a thing done for the Lord and not for men” (Colossians 3:23 Weymouth NT). “Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with a lot” (Luke 16:10 God’s Word).
What does it mean to be faithful in little things? It means to see them as important – not jobs to be lightly or carelessly done. It also means being conscious of God as we work. Different Bible translations bring out the attitude that we should have towards the work we are called to do – work ‘heartily’ (NASB), ‘willingly’ (NLT), ‘whole-heartedly’ (God’s Word) and ‘enthusiastically’ (HCSB). The Berean Literal and Study Bibles talk of working ‘from the soul’ and ‘with your whole being’.
So we need to examine ourselves. Are we faithful in the little things? Do we work to please our neighbours or our bosses, rather than God? Is success more important to us than the honour of God’s name?
This portion taken from Mary W Tileston’s ‘Daily Strength for Daily Needs’ clearly brings out the importance of seeking to please God by being faithful in little things:
There is no action so slight nor so mean but it may be done to a great purpose, and ennobled thereby; nor is any purpose so great but that slight actions may help it, and may be so done as to help it much, most especially, that chief of all purposes–the pleasing of God. J. RUSKIN.
Every duty, even the least duty, involves the whole principle of obedience. And little duties make the will dutiful, that is, supple and prompt to obey. Little obediences lead into great. The daily round of duty is full of probation and of discipline; it trains the will, heart, and conscience. We need not to be prophets or apostles. The commonest life may be full of perfection. The duties of home are a discipline for the ministries of heaven.
H. E. MANNING.
Father, we thank You for the work You give us to do. Help us to be faithful in the little things, and not worry about what people think. Equip us with strength, skill and wisdom. May our work bring You honour. In Jesus’ name.
‘Daily Strength for Daily Needs,’ by Mary W Tileston.