Have you ever watched a version of Stanford University’s marshmallow experiment? An adult places a marshmallow in front of a small child and then leaves the room. If the child can faithfully wait without eating the marshmallow until the adult returns, the child will get a second marshmallow. But if he or she isn’t faithful and eats the marshmallow, he/she will not get the extra treat. It is so funny to see how the children go about waiting—some sit quietly while others dive right in; some fess up to their impulsiveness while others try to cover their tracks. But it is striking to consider how similar situations play out in our lives.
Last weekend, Pastor Josh Whitlow talked about the importance of being faithful in the small things so we can be trusted with bigger things.
“If you are faithful in little things, you will be faithful in large ones. But if you are dishonest in little things, you won’t be honest with greater responsibilities.”
This is true at work, with finances, and in relationships. If you are trustworthy with small jobs or small amounts of money, you likely can be trusted with more. But if you are dishonest or untrustworthy with small things, you couldn’t possibly be relied upon to be faithful with larger responsibilities. One particular man in the Bible stands out for his faithfulness.
After many years of slavery, the Israelites were ready to enter their homeland. They chose twelve men, including one named Joshua, to scout the land in advance. The land was full of good food and crops, but it was also abundantly full of enemies. Joshua didn’t let that blind him. While ten of the twelve scouts embellished the truth to make it sound like the area was too dangerous, Joshua was faithful. He knew that God was with them, and so he told the people that they had nothing to fear. And because Joshua was faithful in this, God made him the leader of Israel as they finally entered their homeland.
That day the Lord made Joshua a great leader in the eyes of all the Israelites, and for the rest of his life they revered him as much as they had revered Moses.
Because Joshua was faithful in the little things, he was given bigger opportunities to lead and inspire others. We all mess up—there are times when we are less than completely forthright. But, when we are faithful, God is overjoyed to bless and celebrate with us. Let’s all work on being faithful in both the little and big things.
Have you ever experienced the reward of being faithful, like a promotion at your job or some additional freedom from your parents? Where in your life can you work on being more faithful?
Practice being faithful in every part of your life. Think about times when you were dishonest and confess those to God. If there are relationships that need to be mended, consider how you might begin earning back that trust.
Father, you give me so many opportunities to be faithful. Help me to be trustworthy in the little things so that I can experience larger responsibilities. Teach me how to faithfully follow you. In your name, amen.
This post was written by Lydia Snyder. Lydia has been a story-lover for as long as she can remember, often found reading books or writing. She is thrilled to be making a difference by inspiring others to take part in the best story ever – God’s story. Lydia lives with her three wonderful siblings and two amazing parents.
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