Dirty Dishes and Eternal Talents
I hate doing the dishes. I do the dishes, and the next time I come back to the kitchen, there are dirty dishes again! It’s never ending.
There are so many mundane tasks I do and redo all day, every day. Doing the dishes is one of them. There are some days that it just doesn’t feel like I am doing much of anything worthwhile.
At home, I spend most of my time doing laundry, vacuuming; it seems that all I do is clean up messes. At work, I’m answering phone calls, mailing letters to local churches and trying to mark things off my list so I can return the next day and do it all over again. Sometimes it feels like the same old-same old.
If I let myself, I will start to think this isn’t much of a life. All that I do is so small and insignificant. If I’m not careful in my thinking, I will begin to believe that what I am doing doesn’t really matter; it certainly doesn’t have any eternal value.
But the Bible tells me differently. In Matthew 25 we read the parable of the talents. We all know the story. One gets five, another two and the last servant gets only one. The Bible says that the servants with five and two talents doubled what they were given, and their master was pleased. He tells them, “Well done…you were faithful with a few things, I will give you charge over many things. Enter into the joy of your master.”
As these two servants chose to invest what they were given, however small it seemed, they were proving themselves. They proved that, even though what they had didn’t seem like much, by faith, their talents were worth investing in; they chose to grow what they had been given. As these two servants chose to invest in the little lives they had, they were training to be ready to be given charge over much. And even better, they got to share in their master’s joy.
As I choose to invest in the mundane, everyday tasks, by faith, I am actually investing in the Kingdom of God. However insignificant my life seems, as I live it for God, I invest in something that has an eternal impact. When I choose to see the value in these seemingly-worthless tasks, God lets me in on His joy. And His joy becomes my strength.
But there is something interesting about the third servant. He only had one talent and chose to do nothing with it. He said that he “knew” the master was a harsh man, so he simply returned to his master what belonged to him.
No investment, no growth. What was the result? Even the little he had was taken from him. If I choose NOT to invest the little I have because I think it’s too little to invest, I get no return, and I don’t grow.
Why should God entrust me with the big things, if I am not making the mundane things for His glory? And I definitely don’t get to share in my God’s joy.
The third servant didn’t see his life through the lens of faith, so he missed out on the growth, promotion and joy offered to him if only he would step out. If I don’t guard my heart, I too could be forfeiting the blessings offered to me by my Lord.
So what about you? Do you see the value in your little life? Do you see your life through the lens of faith or only by what you can see and understand?
You can tell a tree by its fruit. It may be a long time before you see the promotion promised to the first two servants. We should trust that our faithfulness in little will lead to God trusting us with more, but we don’t really know when that will come.
So what fruit can we look for? Joy. Do you have the joy of your master? If you don’t have the joy of the Lord in your life, consider how you see your life. Do you resent those mundane, everyday tasks? Or do you do them in faith knowing that the Lord sees you and your heart? As you invest your “talents”, whatever they may be, you get to enter into the joy of our Lord. And His joy can be your strength.
“His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant. You were faithful with a few things, I will put you in charge of many things; enter into the joy of your master’” (Matt. 25:21).