S47P1 – A show of faithfulness: the process

God searches the earth for those who will be faithful to him. Sometimes this can seem like a rather nebulous concept, or we may simplify this as merely being obedience.  However, faithfulness is more complex than that. If we desire to be the faithful ones that God is looking for, we must understand what it means to be trustworthy, how we gain that distinction and how we keep from being unfaithful. This series focuses on getting a clear picture of how we can become and remain the faithful people God needs in his kingdom.

Luke 16:10-12

He who is faithful in a very little thing is also faithful in much; and he who is dishonest in a very little thing is also dishonest in much.  Therefore, if you have not been faithful in the use of earthly wealth, who will entrust the true riches to you?  And if you have not been faithful in the use of that which belongs to another, who will give you that which is your own?

I cannot recall another time when I was so excited to lend a helping hand. I was used to being the kid who was asked to get out of the way because I was either a distraction or a hindrance. This time dad needed my help. The amazing thing about this was that I had not even asked to help him. He was the one who asked me. Fixing cars is serious work, and I felt honored that he trusted me enough to teach me a job that I could do. As I stood there proudly grinning from ear to ear, he assigned me my work. I was to be the one to hold the lantern. I felt dejected because anyone could have done that job. I wanted to help him with something big. From his perspective, I first had to be trusted with something small. If I could not handle holding the light, I certainly could not handle anything of a mechanical nature. After all, fixing cars is serious work.

Much of life comes down to stages. Imagine going in for open heart surgery and learning that you will be the first patient that your surgeon has touched. The expectation would be that the one leading the team in that kind of procedure would have a lot more experience than that. If there is a physician in the operating room for the first time, perhaps his most critical responsibility would be to stitch up the wound afterward. There are stages of experience that prepare the doctor to be in charge of the big job one day. It is the same with our faithfulness to God. He will not entrust us with something that is too big for us to steward faithfully. He will take us from the small job to the large job as we have shown we are trustworthy. It is about our learning how to manage faithfulness in the face of the temptation to be unfaithful.

If I have $1,000,000 to invest, I will seek help from someone who has the experience and track record to gain my confidence to manage that money. I would not entrust such a sum to an individual who has a difficult time keeping a minimum balance in his checking account. There could be too much temptation to be unfaithful. Our faithfulness to God is a question of whether we are able to be selfless. We fail in our faithfulness when we decide that we are going to honor something other than God with what He entrusts to us. Our faithfulness shows our responsibility to him, and He desires that we take that responsibility seriously. Father, thank You for trusting us with even the small things, and thank You for rewarding a little faithfulness with a lot of trust.