Have you ever had one of those days? Those ones when you wonder about the significance of little faithfulness? Maybe it starts when you’re called to something that feels big and important; perhaps speaking somewhere or organizing an event or leading a Bible study. Or maybe encouraging someone who really needed it. These are commissions that others see and recognize as significant, and that feel significant to us, too.
Then, when those “big” tasks are done, you walk into the kitchen and see the dishes ready to be washed. You hear your child calling for you to wipe them. You know there is meat that needs to be defrosted and another load of laundry ready to be switched from washer to dryer. Or maybe there is homework to be done or weeds to be pulled or a drawer to be organized. These, well, don’t feel quite so important, do they? It’s so much easier to skimp on these because they feel so: normal. So unimportant. We’re tempted to think those don’t matter quite as much.
But what an amazing reality that the gospel beautifies even the smallest and normal-est of tasks. In God’s eyes, those daily, mundane chores bring Him just as much glory as those tasks that feel so important. This is not a situation where trusting our feelings is going to do us any good, because it will cause us to miss out on the joy of realizing every single thing we do is an opportunity to worship our Creator. Nothing is wasted in God’s Kingdom.
“So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.”1 Corinthians 10:31
We see messages from the world, whether blatant or subtle, that those “dream” tasks are what really matter. The daily call of loving our husbands, caring for our children, keeping our homes, serving others, or and doing any other behind-the-scenes work is devalued by this way of thinking; that these are just “necessary evils.” However, God is the designer of life and how it should work, and He is far more trustworthy than the lies this world tries to feed us. He knows better than anyone what kind of life will be a fulfilling one.
“And so train the young women to love their husbands and children, to be… working at home…”Titus 2:4-5
“Make it your goal to live a quiet life, minding your own business and working with your hands…”1 Thessalonians 4:11
It’s a fight to keep our eyes on Christ and what He says when we are bombarded with untruths about what is worthy of our time and energy. But thankfully we have been given all we need by His grace to stay the course.
Here are some reminders I give myself when I am tempted to cave to a worldly mindset in my work.
1. Small faithfulness prepares us for big faithfulness
Jesus says in Luke 16:1,
“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.
We see this same principle echoed in at least one parable (Luke 19:11), and we see this all throughout Scripture: Those who are faithful with little will be entrusted with much. Think about David–the faithful shepherd boy chosen to be a king. Think about the woman who gave her two coins equal to a penny whose small faithfulness was noticed and then documented in the Bible for hundreds of generations to read.
Every. Moment. Matters.
God sees our heart – our motive. It’s not the task that matters so much as it is why we are doing that task. It might not seem significant to make another meal or wipe down the table, but if you’re doing it from the overflow of a heart that loves God, He sees that as a beautiful act of worship. And it’s those people who are content with worshiping God in secret who He will often entrust those out-in-the-open tasks that will be seen by many.
Remember, no moment is an isolated one. What may seem insignificant right now may be very significant later on. We never know how God will use a little moment of faithfulness to bless many, many others in the years to come.
2. Little Faithfulness brings joy
When we become discontent with what is right before us (which I most certainly have been guilty of), we miss out on the joy of what is right before us. We are so busy pining after what could be that we miss out on the beauty of what is. We miss seeing the Lord at work in the quiet, normal moments of life. We become blind to the loveliness of a simple life lived in service to our King.
When we are content with little faithfulness, our tasks can actually be done with joy. Even when we don’t particularly like a task, whether changing a diaper or taking out the trash – it cultivates delight in our soul knowing we are loving and serving others in Jesus’ Name. Jesus can help us be content in any and every circumstance, whether it feels big or small, whether it’s hard or easy (Philippians 4:11-13).
This is something we need to intentionally fight for. It won’t just happen by accident. We need to continually align ourselves with truth. Our minds and hearts need to be saturated with Scripture. Otherwise, our feelings and the messages of the world will come in and sabotage that truth. It takes redirecting our gaze back to the Lord a hundred times over throughout the day by His grace. But when we do, it makes all the difference in the world.
3. It’s All for Jesus
It’s rather humbling to admit, but I can all-too-quickly put value on my work based on the affirmation (or lack thereof) I receive from others. If someone praises me I feel like the task was worthwhile or that I did a good job. When I don’t receive that, I wonder if it was worth doing, or I become too introspective (you know, those inner conversations that go nowhere and just end up becoming one big ball of confusion and discouragement). When we place value on our work (or ourselves) based on the comments or lack of comments from others, we become volatile, needy, and discontent. However, when all we care about is the applause of One – Our Creator and Savior – the opinions of other people fall into their rightful place. We can receive praise with thankfulness. We can receive criticism with humility (and not let it destroy us). When our eyes are fixed on Jesus, it is only His opinion of us that really, truly matters.
The fear of man lays a snare,Proverbs 29:25
but whoever trusts in the LORD is safe.
When fear of man is our driving motive, we begin to shape what we say or do around what we think others want. This causes us to forsake truth for what is popular. It causes us to question what really is true. But there is such safety in looking to the Lord. He protects our minds and hearts from these snares. He convicts and encourages us to continue in the straight and narrow path that lead to life. (Matthew 7:14)
God’s ways are so much higher and better than ours. And even when our emotions and the world are telling us otherwise, we can hold fast to the truth of God’s Word that He sees and values every moment of obedience whether seemingly big or seemingly small. No act of worship will be wasted.
So be encouraged today, friend. God sees and cares about the details of your life, even if no one else does. And He is honored by your faithfulness.
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