Thursday, March 6, 2014

Obedience in the Small Things

Last month, I wrote about living intentionally in the small things. I was thinking about my everyday life and the parable of the three servants in the Book of Matthew. And I was comforted to know that when I’m obedient in what God calls me too right now—no matter how small it seems to me—He says, “Well done, my good and faithful servant.”

But there was more to what I realized that day, and it starts with a confession. You see, in the parable of the three servants, I’ve never understood why the master was so harsh with the third servant.

The first two servants used the money the master entrusted to them and earned more; the third servant was afraid he’d lose the money so he hid it in the ground and then returned the master’s full amount. The master was furious.

“Then the servant with the one bag of silver came and said, ‘Master, I knew you were a harsh man, harvesting crops you didn’t plant and gathering crops you didn’t cultivate. I was afraid I would lose your money, so I hid it in the earth. Look, here is your money back.’

“But the master replied, ‘You wicked and lazy servant! If you knew I harvested crops I didn’t plant and gathered crops I didn’t cultivate, why didn’t you deposit my money in the bank? At least I could have gotten some interest on it.’

 “Then he ordered, ‘Take the money from this servant, and give it to the one with the ten bags of silver. To those who use well what they are given, even more will be given, and they will have an abundance. But from those who do nothing, even what little they have will be taken away. Now throw this useless servant into outer darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’” Matthew 25:24-30 NLT

I’ve always thought isn’t it better that the servant returned the full amount of money rather than losing the money and returning nothing?

I don’t remember ever hearing that part explained, so I never told anyone I didn’t get it because I thought it must be obvious to everyone else.

But last month, as I thought about this parable and wrote my post, God caught my attention with this verse:

…why didn’t you deposit my money in the bank? At least I could have gotten some interest on it. Matthew 25:27

And something clicked.

If I’m not obedient in the small things because I think they’re too small and not important, am I in reality taking what God has entrusted to me and hiding it in the ground?

Isn’t sharing what Jesus has done in my life with one person, whether that’s my daughter or one reader, better than not sharing it at all?

I could hear the parable of the three servants told a little differently…

The first servant returned the master’s money with a full return on his investment…he shared the Good News with everyone he met. And the Lord changed many hearts because they learned of Jesus.

The second servant earned a partial return on the investment…he shared his faith with some he knew. And the Lord changed those hearts because they heard of Jesus.

The third servant hid the money and returned the full amount…he kept what he knew about Jesus hidden because he wasn’t called to do something he thought was great. And those around him never heard the name of Jesus.

How much better is it to share what Jesus has done for me with one than with no one? (<==Tweet this.)

It’s not my job to debate with God what’s worthwhile and what’s not. If He calls me to write a post that only one person will ever read, then that’s important work—because I'm working for Him.

And no matter how small it seems to me—it will be huge when God works through it.

God certainly doesn’t need me to reach people before He can change hearts. But He invites me to be a part of His work—and that’s an opportunity I don’t want to miss because I judge it as “too small.”

It’s my obedience that matters, not the size of the job...and someday, I want to hear…

Well done, my good and faithful servant. You have been faithful in handling this small amount, so now I will give you many more responsibilities. Let’s celebrate together! (Matthew 25:21 NLT)

How about you? Has God called you to something that seems small and unimportant?

In Christ,


  1. Amen Laura! What a wonderful post... There have been times in my life when I was disobedient in doing those small, unimportant things and truly missed out on such wonderful blessings... I am so blessed to have stopped by from Everyday Jesus! Blessings to you...xxxx

  2. Thank you Laura! You've changed my mind with this: "If I’m not obedient in the small things because I think they’re too small and not important, am I in reality taking what God has entrusted to me and hiding it in the ground?" THANKS!

  3. This is one of my favorite verses... Just because of the hard truth, lesson and encouragement it offers. Some "small things" might be taking a moment to play with my daughter instead of thinking about when her next nap time is going to be... But I am making an effort to enjoy the small moments and be faithful with ALL God has given :-)

    Thanks for linking up with #EverydayJesus!

  4. What a great understanding of this parable,Laura. I'd never thought of it that way either and your post has given me lots to ponder on. Thanks so much for sharing!

  5. Thanks for unpacking this parable for Thought-Provoking Thursday, Laura. The message here is convicting.

    Lord, help me to not despise the small things, but to be a good steward.

  6. I'm thinking the third servant was an unbeliever who believed Satan's lies about God. He states that he believed the master was harsh & took what didn't belong to him! Well, EVERYTHING belongs to God & we are simply stewards of whatever He gives us. If we truly believe God is good & Jesus SAVES, we WANT to tell the world because it's GOOD NEWS. I believe the third man WAS wicked as he thought bad things against God, & he must have been lazy & then blamed that on God too! Love & prayers, in Jesus, Cynthia

  7. Yes, the small thing. May not be glamorous, but may it be for God's glory. Thank you for sharing this and linking up at Words of Life Wednesdays.


Thank you for sharing your thoughts!