THE WORD: Faithfulness in small things 

PHOTO CAPTION: “Parable of the Talents” by Willem de Poorter (circa 1650) in the collection of the National Gallery Prague. (Public Domain) 

“His lord said unto him, Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord.” Matthew 25:21

There will be eternal honors for those who have filled important places of trust and responsibility in this world, and have proved faithful in great things. There will be crowns of glory for the martyrs who, throughout the ages, have died rather than deny Christ.

But there will be rewards just as brilliant and crowns just as splendid, for those who, in lives of lowly service and self-denial and in patient endurance and humble devotion — have been faithful in the small things. God does not overlook the lowly, nor does He forget the little things. If only we are faithful in the place to which He assigns us and in the duties He gives us, we shall have our reward from God, even though our lives and our deeds are unknown and unpraised by others.

No one is endowed with all gifts. Every person has his or her own particular excellence or ability. No two have precisely the same gifts, and no two are called to fill precisely the same place in life. The role of the lowliest and the humblest with the fewest gifts, is just as important as the most brilliantly gifted.

The great one in God’s sight is not the prominent one, but the life that fills the place it was made to fill, and does the work it was made to do. God does not ask great things; He asks only simple faithfulness — the quiet doing of what He commands. 


J.R. Miller was a pastor and former editorial superintendent of the Presbyterian Board of Publication from 1880 to 1911. This is an edited version of his original. His works are now in the public domain.