Do you have kids or grand kids that like to keep secrets? A secret, the dictionary reports, is something hidden from view. That’s a good description of the hearts of “good and faithful servants” that Jesus described in Matthew 25. Although motivations of the heart are not always visible, Jesus takes notice and ultimately commends them. Here are 5 “secrets” of good and faithful servants that we trust will be an encouragement to you as you grow in your walk with the Lord.
1. Good and Faithful Servants Maximize God’s Resources. Have you thought about ways you can maximize the financial resources God has given you? For example, did you know you can increase your tax benefit and stretch your giving dollars to the Lord's work when you transfer appreciated assets (such as stocks or mutual funds) directly to your church or a ministry like Brigade rather than donating the proceeds after selling them? If you have owned securities for more than a year, your tax savings are significant because you receive an income tax deduction for the fair-market value (what it's worth today, not what you paid for it). Additionally, you will not pay any capital gain tax upon the transfer.
2. Good and Faithful Servants are Trustworthy. Just like the master in the Parable of the Talents went on a journey and entrusted his property to others, so God entrusts His property to us. What has God entrusted you with? There are many things! He trusts you with the time He’s given you today, relationships with your family and friends, financial resources and possessions, the creation around you, the gospel message, and so much more.
3. Good and Faithful Servants Know Their Abilities. Isn’t it interesting that the man who went on the journey gave something to each of his servants “according to their ability?” God knows what your talents and abilities are because He gave them to you! There’s no point in comparing your abilities to someone else – God wants you to use what He’s given you!
4. Good and Faithful Servants are Action-Oriented. You may have heard there are three kinds of people in the world – those who make things happen, those who watch things happen, and those who wonder what happened. The “good and faithful servants” made things happen. They didn’t put things off until tomorrow. They didn’t wait until they were in a better mood or were less busy. Instead, they went “at once” to put their master’s resources to work for him. Is there something God is asking you to say, do, or give today? Don’t think it has to be something major. Start by making a donation or volunteering.
5. Good and Faithful Servants are Self-Starters. What would the average employee think if the boss went away for a long time? What would the average teenager think if mom and dad went on vacation without the kids? Party time! Right? Not so with the good and faithful servants. The master went away “for a long time.” And with no one watching, or giving them reminders, or holding their hands, the good and faithful servants took responsibility and got to work, day in and day out, until their master returned.