Who will commit - If you are not faithful in the small matters pertaining to this world, if you do not use aright your property and influence, you cannot expect that God will commit to you the true riches of his grace. Men who are dishonest and worldly, and who do not employ the deceitful mammon as they ought, cannot expect to grow in grace. God does not confer grace upon them, and their being unfaithful in earthly matters is evidence that they “would be” also in much greater affairs, and would likewise “misimprove” the true riches.
True riches - The graces of the gospel; the influences of the Spirit; eternal life, or religion. The riches of this world are false, deceitful, not to be trusted Luke 16:9; the treasures of heaven are “true,” faithful, never-failing, Matthew 6:19-20.
If men would do their duty as faithful stewards of their Lord's goods, there would be no cry for bread, none suffering in destitution, none naked and in want. It is the unfaithfulness of men that brings about the state of suffering in which humanity is plunged. If those whom God has made stewards would but appropriate their Lord's goods to the object for which He gave to them, this state of suffering would not exist. The Lord tests men by giving them an abundance of good things, just as He tested the rich man of the parable. If we prove ourselves unfaithful in the righteous mammon, who shall entrust us the true riches? It will be those who have stood the test on the earth, who have been found faithful, who have obeyed the words of the Lord in being merciful, in using their means for the advancement of His kingdom, that will hear from the lips of the Master, “Well done, good and faithful servant; thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things.”—The Review and Herald, June 26, 1894. RC 227.6Read in context »
Why is it that riches are called “unrighteous mammon”? It is because through riches men are made subject to temptation, to deal unjustly, to use them as they shall please in gratifying their desires, and in fulfilling that which their imagination calls for. Those who are in possession of money are in danger of putting the Lord's goods to a wrong use, and by this means they are led to forget God.... The rich young ruler thought that he loved God until Jesus revealed his idol to him, and showed him that he was making a God of his possessions. He had come to Christ asking, “What lack I yet?” The answer was, “Sell all that thou hast, and distribute unto the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come, follow me” (Luke 18:22).... UL 29.3Read in context »
It may be that some will rebel when they are asked to do the small, common duties. But these are the duties they need to know how to perform. It is faithfulness in little things that prepares us for usefulness in larger responsibilities. The most successful toilers are those who cheerfully take up the work of serving God in little things. Every human being is to work with his life thread, weaving it into the fabric to help to complete the pattern. Those who desire to be useful can always find employment. Time will never hang heavy on their hands.... MM 177.1
No one is to spend his time longing to do the impossible, forgetting ordinary daily duties in a desire to do something great. Round after round, from the lowest round, the ladder must be climbed—it may be by painful effort. But success comes with diligent effort, and the progress made is of great value to the earnest striver for victory.... MM 177.2
By their actions those connected with our institutions give proof of the worth, or worthlessness, of their judgment. Those who enter the service of the institution with a spirit of unwillingness to help, who do their allotted tasks with a feeling of compulsion, in sullen submission, who act as if they would gladly escape from the drudgery of the necessary daily duties which someone must do, are very little help to the institution. A mechanical obedience may hide the smoldering fire of rebellion, but it is ready to break out at any time against restraint. In the service of such there is no peace or light or love. The atmosphere surrounding their souls is not fragrant. The influence of their words and actions is felt by others, and this influence is a harm even to those who are trying to do their best in any position in which they are placed. Self-pity is deteriorating to the characters of those who cherish it, and it exerts an influence that spoils the happiness of others. MM 177.3Read in context »
Those who are unfaithful in the least of temporal affairs will be unfaithful in responsibilities of greater importance. They will rob God, and fail of meeting the claims of the divine law. They will not realize that their talents belong to God and should be devoted to His service. Those who do nothing for their employers except that which is commanded them, when they know that the prosperity of the work depends on some extra exertion on their part, will fail to be accounted faithful servants. There are many things not specified that wait to be done, that come directly under the notice of the one employed. MYP 228.1
Leaks and losses occur that might be prevented if painstaking diligence and unselfish effort were manifested, if the principles of love enjoined upon us by Jesus were carried out in the life of those who profess His name. But many are working in the cause of God who are registered as “eye-servants.” MYP 228.2Read in context »
“He made him lord of his house, and ruler of all his substance: to bind his princes at his pleasure; and teach his senators wisdom.” Psalm 105:21, 22. From the dungeon Joseph was exalted to be ruler over all the land of Egypt. It was a position of high honor, yet it was beset with difficulty and peril. One cannot stand upon a lofty height without danger. As the tempest leaves unharmed the lowly flower of the valley, while it uproots the stately tree upon the mountaintop, so those who have maintained their integrity in humble life may be dragged down to the pit by the temptations that assail worldly success and honor. But Joseph's character bore the test alike of adversity and prosperity. The same fidelity to God was manifest when he stood in the palace of the Pharaohs as when in a prisoner's cell. He was still a stranger in a heathen land, separated from his kindred, the worshipers of God; but he fully believed that the divine hand had directed his steps, and in constant reliance upon God he faithfully discharged the duties of his position. Through Joseph the attention of the king and great men of Egypt was directed to the true God; and though they adhered to their idolatry, they learned to respect the principles revealed in the life and character of the worshiper of Jehovah. PP 222.1
How was Joseph enabled to make such a record of firmness of character, uprightness, and wisdom?—In his early years he had consulted duty rather than inclination; and the integrity, the simple trust, the noble nature, of the youth bore fruit in the deeds of the man. A pure and simple life had favored the vigorous development of both physical and intellectual powers. Communion with God through His works and the contemplation of the grand truths entrusted to the inheritors of faith had elevated and ennobled his spiritual nature, broadening and strengthening the mind as no other study could do. Faithful attention to duty in every station, from the lowliest to the most exalted, had been training every power for its highest service. He who lives in accordance with the Creator's will is securing to himself the truest and noblest development of character. “The fear of the Lord, that is wisdom; and to depart from evil is understanding.” Job 28:28. PP 222.2
There are few who realize the influence of the little things of life upon the development of character. Nothing with which we have to do is really small. The varied circumstances that we meet day by day are designed to test our faithfulness and to qualify us for greater trusts. By adherence to principle in the transactions of ordinary life, the mind becomes accustomed to hold the claims of duty above those of pleasure and inclination. Minds thus disciplined are not wavering between right and wrong, like the reed trembling in the wind; they are loyal to duty because they have trained themselves to habits of fidelity and truth. By faithfulness in that which is least they acquire strength to be faithful in greater matters. PP 222.3Read in context »