Riches with a capital "R"
"... if you have not been trustworthy in handling worldly wealth, who will trust you with true riches?" (v.11)
We must not think that because faithfulness is listed among the last three qualities on Paul's list, it is of lesser importance. So important is it that Jesus says in our passage today: "He who is faithful with a trifle is also faithful with a large trust, and he who is dishonest with a trifle is also dishonest with a large trust" (v.10, Moffatt).
I have often said to myself: there is a young man with a great future in the things of God. Yet time and again, I have seen them fail in their fidelity to small obligations, and I have then said to myself: unless there are great changes, that person will end up like the children of Israel in the wilderness -- going around in circles. Look again at what Jesus said, this time in the Moffatt translation: "If you are not faithful with dishonest mammon, how can you ever be trusted with true Riches?" Here the basic principles are laid down. If you are not faithful in the trifling, you will not be faithful in the tremendous. If you are not faithful with the material (mammon), how can you expect to be entrusted with the spiritual -- Otrue RichesO?Notice how Moffatt spells the word "riches" with a capital "R." Why is this? Because spiritual richness is a richness that is so rich you just have to spell it with a capital "R." But Jesus says one more thing: "If you are not faithful with what belongs to another, how can you ever be given what is your own?" Those who are not faithful with other people's possessions finish up with nothing of their own.
Father, I am conscious that day by day You let me be tested with the little. Help me to be faithful there so that I can be trusted to handle a lot. In Jesus' Name I ask it. Amen.
For Further Study
1. What did the master say to the first two servants?
2. What was the confession of the writer of the Song of Songs?