Ellen G. White Writings

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The Youth’s Instructor

January 17, 1901

Faithful in That Which Is Least

“He that is faithful in that which is least is faithful also in much.”

It is conscientious attention to what the world terms “little things” that makes life a success. Little deeds of charity, little acts of self-denial, speaking simple words of helpfulness, watching against little sins,—this is Christianity. A grateful acknowledgment of daily blessings, a wise improvement of daily opportunities, a diligent cultivation of intrusted talents,—this is what the Master calls for.

He who faithfully performs small duties will be prepared to answer the demands of larger responsibilities. The man who is kind and courteous in the daily life, who is generous and forbearing in his family, whose constant aim it is to make home happy, will be the first to deny self and make sacrifices when the Master calls.

We may be willing to give our property to the cause of God, but this will not count unless we give him also a heart of love and gratitude. Those who would be true missionaries in foreign fields must first be true missionaries in the home. Those who desire to work in the Master's vineyard must prepare themselves for this by a careful cultivation of the little piece of vineyard he has intrusted to their care.

As a man “thinketh in his heart, so is he.” Many thoughts make up the unwritten history of a single day; and these thoughts have much to do with the formation of character. Our thoughts are to be strictly guarded; for one impure thought makes a deep impression on the soul. An evil thought leaves an evil impress on the mind. If the thoughts are pure and holy, the man is better for having cherished them. By them the spiritual pulse is quickened, and the power for doing good is increased. And as one drop of rain prepares the way for another in moistening the earth, so one good thought prepares the way for another.

The longest journey is performed by taking one step at a time. A succession of steps brings us to the end of the road. The longest chain is composed of separate links. If one of these links is faulty, the chain is worthless. Thus it is with character. A well-balanced character is formed by single acts well performed. One defect, cultivated instead of being overcome, makes the man imperfect, and closes against him the gate of the Holy City. He who enters heaven must have a character that is without spot or wrinkle or any such thing. Naught that defileth can ever enter there. In all the redeemed host not one defect will be seen.

God's work is perfect as a whole because it is perfect in every part, however minute. He fashions the tiny spear of grass with as much care as he would exercise in making a world. If we desire to be perfect, even as our Father in heaven is perfect, we must be faithful in doing little things. That which is worth doing at all, is worth doing well. Whatever your work may be, do it faithfully. Speak the truth in regard to the smallest matters. Each day do loving deeds and speak cheerful words. Scatter smiles along the pathway of life. As you work in this way, God will place his approval on you, and Christ will one day say to you, “Well done, thou good and faithful servant.”

At the day of Judgment, those who have been faithful in their every-day life, who have been quick to see their work and do it, not thinking of praise or profit, will hear the words, “Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.” Christ does not commend them for the eloquent orations they have made, the intellectual power they have displayed, or the liberal donations they have given. It is for doing little things which are generally overlooked that they are rewarded. “I was an hungered, and ye gave me meat,” he says. “Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.”

Mrs. E. G. White

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