A couple of weeks ago, I went on a walk with my dad. As we were walking, I took the chance to talk to him about my constant battle with fear. I knew that my sinful fear was keeping me from glorifying God, and I was tired of it. I wanted to do something big for Christ, and whatever I was going to do, I wanted it to be hard and out of my comfort zone.
After that conversation, my head was swirling with big ideas, but I had to shut that part of my brain off so I could finish working on my remaining schoolwork. As I sat down at my desk, I was instantly engulfed in the familiar stress of being very behind. I was so stressed, that when my mom asked me to help her with supper, what did I do? Well, I did help her, but with a very bad attitude. I didn’t appreciate my plans being interrupted for the sake of helping someone else.
Do you see the irony here? Just a few hours before I was fired up with passion for God’s glory and the way that my small life could somehow fit into it all. Then, I went home and did the exact opposite of glorifying God. I sinned.
What’s my point? Wanting to do big things for God is great, but that doesn’t give us an excuse to downplay the importance of glorifying God in the ordinary moments of life. We must pursue faithfulness in the “little things” (like helping your mom with supper) just as much as we must pursue faithfulness in the “big things,” (like getting involved in missions or sharing the gospel with your neighbors). We must strive for little faithfulness.
But why is little faithfulness so important in the first place? Why is it such a big deal? Well, I’m glad you asked.
God calls us to pursue his glory in every area of our lives.
Though this first point may seem obvious, just think about it for a minute. If someone were to say, “Which is more glorifying to God: Sharing the gospel with your unbelieving peers, or joyfully switching the laundry?” What would you say? I’m guessing that for a lot of us, our instinct would be to say, “sharing the gospel with your unbelieving peers.” But here’s the kicker, it doesn’t matter which is more glorifying to God. We should be sharing the gospel with people around us, but we also should have a good attitude when we switch the laundry!
“So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.”1 Corinthians 10:31
Notice here it doesn’t say, “do some things to the glory of God.” Instead, Paul clearly says, “do all things to the glory of God.” Yes, God wants you to set your standards high and strive to live all out for his glory. Never once in Scripture, however, does He say that doing so requires that we become careless in how we live and act in the normal, “humdrum” moments of life. By its very nature, the word faithful encompasses the kind of endurance and integrity that presents itself in all situations and at all times. Once again, I’ll turn to my old friend professor google:
Faithfulness – loyal, constant, and steadfast
Constant. I love that word. Unceasing. All the time.
No matter what, we are to strive for faithfulness in everything we do, even those routine parts of life that we often overlook.
Little faithfulness is a stepping stone to bigger things.
In the parable of the talents, the story is told of a master who goes away and leaves his servants behind, each in charge of a certain amount of money. To the first servant, he gave five talents, to the second, he gave two, and to the last, he gave one. The last servant then goes and buries his single talent out of fear. The first two, however, show savvy investing skills and end up doubling their talents. When the master returns, he is angered that the last servant was not faithful with his portion and didn’t seek to make the most of it, but to the first two he says this:
“His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master.’”Matthew 25:21
Though this parable is largely aimed at the rewards received by Chirstians in heaven when they are faithful to Christ with their lives on earth, the principle of mastering little to receive much can be applied to our discussion here.
As much as we may not feel like we are doing anything important when we dutifully and happily work on algebra homework, we really are. For one, we are honoring God by, “working heartily in everything we do.” (Colossians 3:23-24) But not only that, we are practicing faithfulness.
The thought struck me awhile ago: “If I can’t even obey God at home when little more is happening then my daily routine, how in the world am I going to be able to obey God when he calls me to do more?”
Every experience, every moment of frustration and stress, every temptation, every struggle, and every ordinary circumstance is a training ground– an opportunity to be faithful over a little.
As we’re stuck in our homes during quarantine, little faithfulness has become even more important. As much as this virus is having a big impact on our nation (and the world), normal life, to some extent, still goes on. If you are a student like me, you’re still doing school. There’s still a pile of dirty dishes at the end of every meal for someone to clean up. The laundry needs to be switched. The dog is still whining because she needs to go outside. Those everyday stressors, they’re still there, and God is still calling you to be faithful and glorify Him even when doing so isn’t all that exciting.
Striving to glorify God and to be faithful to Him in “little” things instills the experience and practice of integrity which we will need when God calls us to follow Him into “bigger” things. You don’t automatically arrive at the top of a mountain. You have to climb first. It takes steps, and sometimes those steps are small. But just because they are small doesn’t mean they aren’t taking you anywhere. It doesn’t mean they aren’t important.