33 Saul said to David, “You are not able to go against this Philistine to fight with him; for you are just a boy, and he has been a warrior from his youth.” 34 But David said to Saul, “Your servant used to keep sheep for his father; and whenever a lion or a bear came, and took a lamb from the flock, 35 I went after it and struck it down, rescuing the lamb from its mouth; and if it turned against me, I would catch it by the jaw, strike it down, and kill it. 36 Your servant has killed both lions and bears; and this uncircumcised Philistine shall be like one of them, since he has defied the armies of the living God.” 37 David said, “The LORD, who saved me from the paw of the lion and from the paw of the bear, will save me from the hand of this Philistine.” So Saul said to David, “Go, and may the LORD be with you!” 1 Samuel 17: 33-37 NRSV.
Are you familiar with the story of David and Goliath? How David slew the giant. If you are not; please take a few minutes and read the entire 1 Samuel chapter 17. I wondered if David would have chosen to fight Goliath if he had not had some small success in his past (note verses 34-35). I believe that God gives us little victories throughout our lives to prepare us for greater challenges and yes, greater victories in our future. Henry & Richard Blackaby in their book entitled “Spiritual Leadership” talked about a successful track record and illustrated this biblically in Matthew 25:33 when Jesus told the story of three servants and how they utilized the talents given to them by their master (for a complete understanding of the story begin with verse 14). The Blackaby’s also writes that “emerging leaders may not yet have major accomplishments to their credit, but they should be accumulating a series of small successes” (p.111).
Well let’s review the outcome in Matthew 25:33. The master said, ‘Well done, my good and faithful servant. You have been faithful in handling this small amount, so now I will give you many more responsibilities. Let’s celebrate together!’
The common interpretation of this parable is that those who are faithful with little will receive more from God. Said another way, God gives victory in response to our faith. The greater our faith; the more willingness we are to be obedient to our next challenge God will inspire us to perform.
At my secular job, I have a tag line attached to my email, which reads: Turning challenging opportunities into remarkable successes.” It is a statement taken from the Jim Kouzes & Barry Posner’s book entitled “The Leadership Challenge.” I adopted this as an outgrowth of my own experience of small successes, and my desire to focus upon faith in self, faith in those I lead, faith in my teammates and above all faith in God.
SO HOW BIG IS YOUR FAITH?