Do you desire bigger things in life? Is your mindset, “Bring on the challenge and I will grow into it?” Do you feel a lot of opportunities are too small to be worth your while?
It is good to grow and be stretched. It is good to set and pursue goals, even lofty goals. There are times we need to say no. There are times to make changes so your potential is being fully utilized and appreciated. But often we need to wait: wait for more experience; wait for an opening; wait for the right time; wait until our current commitment is fulfilled. And while we are waiting, we have a choice: will we wallow in dissatisfaction or embrace far more life?
I remember facing this choice when my student group was appointing new small group leaders. I desperately wanted the position; I knew it would be a challenge, but I was confident I could be faithful with the responsibilities if given the chance. I wanted to be stretched. I thought I would find far more life once I was a leader.
When I was not selected, I was tempted to become less committed to the group, thinking they were not willing to invest in me. But soon I realized my motivation was pride and the desire for recognition; the woman who was chosen to lead invested her life in loving God by loving others. She didn’t care if the need was large or small, she didn’t consider some tasks “beneath her”. And yet she was experiencing far more life, even in small, ignoble tasks. She was already acting as a leader by caring for others the group, so it was only natural that she be recognized and supported in that role. Her actions and mindset demonstrated this Biblical principle:
“Someone who is faithful in a small matter”, Jesus continued, “will also be faithful in a large one. Someone who is dishonest in a small matter will also be dishonest in a large one.” (Luke 16:10, NTE)
We are tempted to misread this verse to say, “Someone who is faithful in a small matter is paying their dues; after proving themselves they will be awarded larger matters and find far more life.” But that is not what it says!
Faithfulness is a fruit of the Spirit; as God’s daughters we always have access to it. Whether we are taking on a small or large matter, far more life is available — and God’s desire — for us. The situations we encounter give us opportunity to grow in consistently choosing to be faithful. That is far more life!
Far more life is faithfully persevering, despite the barriers and challenges we face:
Blessed is a man who perseveres under trial… (James 1:12, NASB)
Far more life is making wise decisions about which matters we take on so we can faithfully complete them:
Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise. (Ephesians 5:15, NIV)
Far more life is giving of ourselves willingly:
Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. (2 Corinthians 9:7, NIV)
Far more life is doing what pleases God and trusting Him with the results:
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 25:21, NIV)
God does not measure our faithfulness by the size of the task. Larger matters are often more complex and require more skills, but we can find far more life doing a small matter with a faithful heart.
Sometimes a seemingly small matter is really a large matter. When I was learning to play the flute, I was disappointed to start with just the mouthpiece. Then I was frustrated because I could not make it produce a sound. While I spent hours learning how to shape my lips and precisely where to position them on the mouthpiece, my friends were playing a variety of actual notes on their reed and brass instruments. It was discouraging to see them progress when I was stuck on what seemed like a simple task: blowing into the flute to generate a sound. But faithful practice allowed me to master that skill. I “graduated” to learning actual notes on the full instrument. Then I was able to take on the seemingly larger matter of learning notes and rhythms. Years of practice allowed me to play increasingly difficult pieces of music. But looking back, I realize that learning how to shape my lips and position them on the mouthpiece was actually the LARGEST matter; it laid the foundation for all that came later. If I had not been faithful to learn that, I would have not have been able to play even the simplest song.
Faithfulness often has practical rewards as well, as we read in Proverbs:
Do you see a man skilled in his work? He will stand before kings; He will not stand before obscure men. (Proverbs 22:29, NASB)
This verse shares a principle, not a promise; not every skilled person will literally stand before a king in their lifetime. But faithfulness yields opportunities and blessings we would otherwise miss. One of those blessings is far more life in Him every step of the journey!
Is it easy or challenging for you to be faithful with the matters in your life? Does the size impact your faithfulness?
Which is easiest for you: persevering, making wise decisions, giving willingly, or trusting God? Which is hardest?
When have you discovered a “small matter” that was actually large?
What opportunities and blessings has been generated by your faithfulness?
Thank Him that far more life is always available through every matter you face!
Copyright 2020, Shari Damaso
Photo from wwe.songflute.com