Jesus wants us to be a faithful and wise worker. God entrusts each of us with a precious task. God is glorified through what He has entrusted to us. Jesus said, “I have brought you glory on earth by finishing the work you gave me to do.” (Jn 17:4). Workers work. There is no worker without work. The worker must cope with the work entrusted to them. Jesus charges us to be faithful and wise servants who cope with what is entrusted to us. “Who then is the faithful and wise servant, whom the master has put in charge of the servants in his household to give them their food at the proper time?” (Mt 24:45 NIV)
God is pleased with the worker who is faithful. The character trait of faithfulness is the most important aspect to being an excellent worker. Take a closer look at the Chinese character of faithfulness. “Faithfulness(忠誠) is to embrace the Word in the center of heart and to fulfill it.” Paul says, “it is required that those who have been given a trust must prove faithful.” (1Co 4:2). God is looking for a faithful worker.
The characteristic of a faithful worker is to be faithful with a few things. Jesus praises a servant who is faithful with a few things in the parable of Talents. “’Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!’” (Mt 25:23)
The characteristic of a faithful worker is to be faithful with the work entrusted to them. You should not be excellent at random works. You must be excellent in what has been entrusted to you. The most foolish man is the one who is faithful in the things that has not been entrusted to him. Conversely, a wise man is the one who is faithful to what has been entrusted to him.
An important feature of a faithful worker is that he is conscious of God’s gaze in his faithfulness. We tend to be too obsessed with people’s recognition and praise. But a faithful worker works in consciousness of God’s eyes rather than the eyes of the people. Even if the people do not recognize them, even if they do not see them, the faithful workers are faithful before God’s eyes.
The characteristic of a faithful worker is to be faithful to the end, and even unto death. Jesus says, “Be faithful unto death, and I will give you the crown of life.” (Rev 2:10 ESV) It is not hard to be faithful just one time. However, to be continuously faithful, to the end, and even unto death, is a tall task. For this reason we see that God has prepared the crown of life to a faithful worker who is faithful unto death.
The worker must be wise if he wants to please God. Jesus wants us to be a “faithful and wise servant.” Among the kinds of wisdom that Jesus spoke on, is the wisdom of discerning the times. Jesus said, “..,whom the master has put in charge of the servants in his household to give them their food at the proper time?” (Mt 24:45) To be able to discern is wisdom. It is to discern the work that has been entrusted, to discern people, and to discern the times.
Another characteristic of a wise worker is to work with the wisdom given by God. Those who rely on their own wisdom and understanding are not wise. True wisdom is given by God. True wisdom comes from above. “But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere. Peacemakers who sow in peace reap a harvest of righteousness.” (James 3:17) True wisdom is pure. True wisdom is peace-loving. True wisdom is considerate. True wisdom is submissive. True wisdom is full of good fruit.
The characteristic of a wise worker is asking God for wisdom all the time. We must begin each day asking for wisdom. God pours out wisdom to those who ask (James 1:5). True wisdom is in humility. Humility is to recognize our own insufficiency. It is to admit that we ourselves are not wise. Therefore a humble man always asks God for wisdom.
A wise worker acquires wisdom by walking with the wise, and then works. One way to get wisdom is to walk with the wise. “Walk with the wise and become wise, for a companion of fools suffers harm.” (Pro 13:20). Learn wisdom as you walk with the wise.
The Bible testifies that Jesus was a faithful worker (Heb 3:5-6). It also shows that Jesus grew in wisdom during his childhood, and that his wisdom continued to exponentially grow (Lk 2:40, 52). I hope that we can all grow to be faithful and to become wise workers like Jesus. Please also pray particularly for the workers in the installation that they will become faithful and wise workers. Thank you again for your love of God and the church.
Reverend Joshua Choon-Min Kang is the senior pastor of New Life Vision Church, located in Los Angeles. This is one of the weekly letters he writes to his congregation. For the original, visit www.nlvc.org.