Faithful over a Few Things

It’s tempting to measure our impact by the scope of our responsibilities instead of by our fulfillment of those responsibilities. Is it better to have a big job that we do poorly than to have a smaller job that we do well?

In the Parable of the Talents, the leader praises the two servants who have made good use of the money he entrusted to them. “Well done, thou good and faithful servant,” he tells them both, “thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things” (Matthew 25:31, 33; see also Luke 19:17, 19). He doesn’t mention that the first servant had been responsible for five talents, more than twice as much as the second. His success criteria is faithfulness, not scope. Excellent oversight of two talents is as admirable as excellent oversight of five.

When Ammon, the son of a king, arrived in the land of Ishmael, he told the king, “I will be thy servant” (Alma 17:25). This was admirable, but more impressive was the way he fulfilled that promise. After seeing him work a short period of time, the king marveled, “Surely there has not been any servant among all my servants that has been so faithful as this man; for even he doth remember all my commandments to execute them” (Alma 18:10). Those responsibilities included watering his flocks and preparing his horses and chariots for a journey, not the most prestigious of tasks. But the king noticed and praised his conscientiousness in doing these tasks well.

Today, I will be faithful in fulfilling my responsibilities. I will focus less on the scope or perceived importance of those responsibilities and more on the way I fulfill them.

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