Faithfulness in the Little Things

During the present coronavirus crisis, many of us (excepting some, such as our heroic front-line workers and people raising small children) have found that we have fewer “big” things to attend to each day than we did at the onset of this rolling calamity. Even for those of us fortunate enough to still be remotely employed, often our “biggest” activities of the day are video-conference meetings of some sort. So, many of us (once again, with some notable exceptions) have discovered that our daily challenges are considerably limited, and thus find ourselves reduced to doing, for the most part, little things. This post is a simple encouragement to be faithful in the little things. Does the Bible encourage anything on this topic?

Yes, the theme of faithfulness in the little things is persistent in the parables of Jesus. Notice the following summary statements that appear in four of Jesus’s parables:

“And the Lord said, ‘Who then is the faithful and wise manager, whom his master will set over his household, to give them their portion of food at the proper time? Blessed is that servant whom his master will find so doing when he comes’” (Luke 12:42-43).

“One who is faithful in a very little is also faithful in much, and one who is dishonest in a very little is also dishonest in much” (Luke 16:10).

“So you also, when you have done all that you were commanded, say, “We are unworthy servants; we have only done what was our duty’” (Luke 17:10).

“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).

In addition to these words of Jesus, twenty (or so) years later, the Apostle Paul in 1 Corinthians 4:2 picked up Jesus’s theme of faithfulness: “Moreover, it is required of stewards that they be found faithful.” The idea also finds its way into Paul’s famous list of Galatians 5:23: “the fruit of the Spirit is…faithfulness.”

So what does faithfulness in the little things look like during coronavirus quarantine? Here are some examples:

  • You speak words of comfort and encouragement to any who happen to be quarantining with you—over and over again.[1]
  • You forgive wrongs committed against you—again and again.[2]
  • You carve out daily time for reading God’s Word.[3]
  • You lift up short prayers to the Lord repeatedly throughout the day.[4]
  • You get off the couch and take a walk, or do a bit of physical exercise, since “bodily training is of some value.”[5]
  • You take care to honor God with what you put into your mouth.[6]
  • You turn away from temptations that dishonor God and ultimately will prove damaging to your spiritual life (e.g., alcohol or drug abuse, viewing pornography, dark or violent video games).[7]
  • You write notes of spiritual encouragement (via text, email, snail-mail).[8]
  • You search out new ways to serve, since many opportunities for service are limited during the “safer at home” order.[9]
  • You tactfully turn away from gossip and worldly chatter.[10]
  • You look for ways to engage in purposeful spiritual conversations via phone, text, or video conference.[11]
  • You seek to allow Christ’s peace to rule in your heart.[12]
  • You read a good Christian book.[13]
  • You play some (loud) worship music and join the instrumentalists and singers in jubilant praise to God![14]

During these days when fewer responsibilities vie for our attention, let us seek to be faithful…in the little things.

 

———————

[1] Ephesians 4:29.

[2] Ephesians 4:32.

[3] Joshua 1:8.

[4] 1 Thessalonians 5:17.

[5] 1 Timothy 4:8.

[6] 1 Corinthians 6:12-13.

[7] 1 Corinthians 10:13.

[8] Think of the New Testament letters: Romans-Jude.

[9] Galatians 5:13.

[10] 2 Timothy 2:16.

[11] Hebrews 3:13.

[12] Colossians 3:15.

[13] The best Christian book of all, of course, is the Bible!

[14] Psalm 150.

3 thoughts on “Faithfulness in the Little Things

  1. This was a really helpful, practical message. I love the scripture references posted as footnotes. I printed this message so I could study it with my Bible in front of me.

    Like

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