What Must I Do to Hear “Well Done My Good and Faithful Servant?”

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What Must I Do to Hear “Well Done My Good and Faithful Servant?”

Whatever you’ve been given (and it’s far more than you realize) when you ask the Father to show you how to invest it in others, don’t underestimate what He can do with it.

Jane stood in her front yard, her piggy bank wrapped in her arms. She was looking for someone who might need her help. At 8 years old, the concept that some children went to bed hungry had soaked over her young heart.

Her dad, my son, sat on the curb beside her. He promised he’d do all he could to help.

They devised a plan. She loved art, so she purchased art supplies with some of the funds she had saved. She drew pictures and signed them like a real artist. Her dad helped her spread the word on social media, but she did all the work. She also went door to door to speak to close neighbors. She explained the need and offered to create a custom picture for them. In return, they would pledge a sum that would go wholly to a local homeless ministry and food bank.

Night after night she drew and painted. She raised a little over $600, which far surpassed the few dollars in her piggy bank. A local newspaper picked Jane’s story up as a human-interest piece and accompanied her as she took the money to the local shelter. Shelter volunteers invited Jane to help serve lunch and to meet some of the guests at the shelter, and she loved it.

Later, when the cameras were gone, her dad knelt in front of her.

“Good job, Jane,” he whispered.

His congratulations weren’t for the newspaper photo, because that was never her intent. His congratulations wasn’t for the amount she raised, though it was significant and took days to raise. His words were for the heart behind her hard work.

Well done, my good and faithful servant.

When we read the story in Matthew 24:14-30, we may worry that somehow we aren’t doing enough to merit these words spoken by the master. Maybe we measure what we do by someone else’s efforts – and ours seem to fall short. Perhaps we see that others are able to pour large amounts of money into worthy projects, and our offerings, though sacrificial, pale in comparison.

Jesus’ character was never to demean, demoralize, or set impossible standards for those He loved. Instead, He was always after the heart of those He discipled. Throughout this whole chapter, which is part of the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus delved beyond religious rules and traditions to bring heart issues into the light, and this story was no different.

His disciples were in training. He was their teacher. If they were to be launched as the early church, this story was about more than a master and his servants. He was going away, just like the master in the story. He was teaching how to live their lives as followers of Jesus, and to continue His work.

There are three things that stand out in this story of the master, the servants, and the talents.

Jesus invites us all to make a difference.

When the master left for his trip, he invited his servants to take care of his vast property in his absence, which was common, but he didn’t leave it at that. He entrusted them with a portion of his wealth to invest. This showed great trust on his part. He could have easily allowed them to do the necessities and no more. He could have paid someone with expertise in finance (or a similar profession) to invest and increase his funds.

He didn’t. He placed his trust in servants. Those with little education. Little prestige.

When my granddaughter, Jane, first heard about the problem of homelessness, her father could have said, “You are too young.” He could have pointed out how little was in her piggy bank. Instead, he came alongside to encourage that flame of compassion that had ignited in a little girl’s heart.

Years ago, as a woman called to teach the Bible, so many things felt impossible. I wasn’t raised in a believing home. I didn’t have the degrees on my wall. I was an introvert. It seemed as if the talents God had given me were inequitable in proportion to the call. Yet somehow, because He is God and I am not, His calling remained. He trusted me to invest the little I had, and then He matched and multiplied it over time.

If you’ve ever heard the words, “I think you are too young, too old, too poor, too ordinary, too quiet, too loud, too {fill in the blank} to be used by God," we see in this story that the true Master delights in entrusting us with what matters to Him.

Invest what you’ve been given.

Jesus gave five bags to one. Two to another. One to the last servant. We can’t help but note that the master acknowledged these were in proportion to their abilities.

Ouch, right?

Except this story is not really about money. Jesus was telling this story to people with all kinds of abilities. None were lesser. None were greater, as far as eternity is concerned. Some would be on the front lines. Some serving behind the scenes. Some would lose their life and others would be in jail. Some would bring provision and encouragement to those in distress. Some were better with one-on-one conversations, and others would stand before thousands.

The treasure that Jesus cared about is people.

Some of us will serve faithfully behind the scenes to a handful of people, and there will be an eternal impact. Perhaps that eternal impact will multiply in God’s hands far beyond what we can even imagine and can only understand fully in eternity.

Others will use their giftings in ways that reach the masses, while others will faithfully mentor one on one, discipling and teaching. Their mentee will then turn around and impact others—perhaps one or perhaps an entire city.

When Jane took her $600 to the local shelter, she noticed how quickly those funds would be used. Even at 8 years old, she recognized how big the need in comparison to what formerly seemed like a massive sum. Yet that $600 could purchase groceries for 12 families, who would not go hungry that night. Those groceries were answered prayers for those individuals, who God knew – even to the number of hairs on their head.

Your ability is not measured by gold coins. It’s measured by how you invest it. Whatever we’ve been given, when it’s invested in people and it draws them closer to Jesus, it’s multiplied and of great value to God.

Well done, good and faithful servant.

If Jane had taken her piggy bank and left it in the house, she would not have had the opportunity to discover what God could do with her faithfulness. Yes, she was 8. Yes, the need was vast. However, with her father’s encouragement, she discovered what she could do and that was transforming. I still have the picture she created for me. It’s a reminder of how a “little” can turn into something spectacular.

Whatever you’ve been given (and it’s far more than you realize) when you ask the Father to show you how to invest it in others, don’t underestimate what He can do with it. Everything we have – our health, our time, our funds, our abilities – they all belong to Him anyway. We are simply asked to take a risk and invest them in what will matter in the long run.

And as our Abba Father, He sees us taking those steps of faith. He sees us investing what we have, our eyes not on what someone else is doing, but on what God has asked us to do.

He sees our heart and delights in it, and whispers, “Well done, my good and faithful servant.”

Photo Credit: © Getty Images/GordonImages

Suzanne (Suzie) Eller is a speaker and bestselling author of 11 books. Her latest is JoyKeeper: 6 Truths That Change Everything You Thought You Knew About Joy. She’s the co-host of the popular More Than Small Talk podcast with Holley Gerth and Jennifer Watson. Suzie is the founder of TogetHER Ministries. You can connect with her at tsuzanneeller.com.


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