Faithfulness Coupled With Goodness
So he who had received five talents came and brought five other talents, saying, ‘Lord, you delivered to me five talents; look, I have gained five more talents besides them.’ His lord said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant; you were faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord.’
When the master returned he was overjoyed with two of his servants who had taken their responsibilities seriously and had brought increase to their master’s kingdom. The master’s response to each was “Well done, good and faithful servant.” He recognised two attributes in each of these servants that caused them to do well with what they had been given – goodness and faithfulness.
In God’s kingdom it’s not just faithfulness that causes you to do well with what God gives you – its faithfulness coupled with goodness. God is good and His Kingdom is established on His goodness, therefore anything that we do that doesn’t flow from a ‘good’ heart will be in conflict with the very culture of God’s Kingdom. We can be the most faithful people, but if our hearts are filled with bad treasure then our faithfulness may be fruitless (Luke 6:45).
As we are faithful to do good works in God’s kingdom (Ephesians 2:10) we need to ensure our doing flows from a good/right heart. If we are going to have long-term success our heart attitudes need to be right. Most people don’t quit because they lose faith in their leader - they quit because of issues in their hearts. They allow jealousy or greed to slip in; they become hurt or offended; they allow their heart to become contaminated in some way.
If ‘faithfulness’ is the water flowing in a river, then ‘goodness’ is the quality of that water. You may be the fastest flowing river on the most exciting journey - but no one is going to want to be near you if you’re full of filth and stink! It doesn’t matter how faithful you are, if you have a bad heart then your faithfulness counts for nothing.
If you sense that your heart isn’t in the right place, that you’re not operating from a heart of ‘goodness’, then take time to put ‘good’ in. Read your Bible, wait on the Lord, ask the Holy Spirit to saturate you - and you will see the fruit of the Spirit, which includes goodness and faithfulness, grow all over your life!
Executive Pastor, Family Church
(This week's devotionals are written by one of the Family Church pastors. Enjoy!)