I read this morning about how Samuel was working on picking the next king for Israel after Saul & was being introduced to Jesse’s sons, from the oldest to the youngest. When Samuel first met Jesse’s oldest son, Samuel thought he was a shew-in, but God quickly corrected Samuel & told him not to make decisions based on external appearances – God looks at the heart & isn’t influenced by what’s on the outside (tall, handsome, suave, etc). After meeting supposedly all of Jesse’s sons, Samuel didn’t pick any of them. Finally, Jesse mentioned that his last son, the smallest & maybe the least likely or eligible, was out herding sheep. Once they brought in David, Samuel knew he was to be the next king. David was the least likely & seemingly most ineligible – tiny but mighty. In my mind, tiny by mighty, was often a theme in David’s life (Goliath, fighting the Philistines, running from Saul, overcoming Absalom’s treachery & more). Tiny can most certainly be mighty 🙂
I had a really cool discussion last night with some great friends & I was reminded of a quote from Mother Teresa that goes something like: do small things with great love. When I think about this, here are some practical ideas for some small things that can show great love:
*help someone remember your name without making them feel bad
*look for opportunities to give sincere compliments
*hold the door open for a person without expecting a “thank you”
*give a genuine smile when someone is grumpy with you
*dont wait until you feel like it to be nice – let kindness come from your heart & not your feelings 🙂
What are some other ideas that you can share to help us express great love through small things?
We’ve all had the experience of driving along & someone flips us off or does something rude that was stupid. We have a choice with these kinds of petty actions – we can let them stay small & fade into the past or we can get wound up about them & carry them into the present. Small things need to stay small, be that rude comments, gestures, attacking words, etc. Don’t magnify things that need to stay small. Of course I’m not advocating being a door mat, but I think that we can easily get caught up & distracted on things that should stay small.
On the flip side, let’s be sure to magnify important things like genuine love, Jesus’ presence, grace and forgiveness. Let’s stay focused on letting the Holy Spirit continue to work in our lives to make us big people! 🙂
Stay tuned here as well for updates about my upcoming Saving Moses trip to Angola next week!
At the beginning of Feb, I slipped on the snow as I was walking home from my neighbor’s house & I banged up my ankle really bad. I don’t consider myself to be very wimpy but I knew that I had hurt myself pretty bad – like having to crawl instead of walking bad. After xrays, the Dr said it was just a bad sprain & that it would take time to heal. When she said “time”, my mind translated this to mean a few days or maybe 2 weeks, because that’s a LONG time! Now that we’re almost 2 MONTHS later, I’m still having some challenges.
But here’s the good news & this is where I want to encourage you: even though I didn’t go very far nor fast, I ran outside yesterday & my ankle did pretty well. Afterwards, I was talking w a friend & we encouraged each other that a little bit is better than nothing. This idea about “a little bit” has huge value in LOTS of areas of our lives:
- a little bit of forgiveness is moving in the right direction
- a little bit of patience can be more constructive than impatience
- a little bit of exercise can help to set us up to do a little more
- a little bit of genuine love has immeasurable power to transform
When we start with nothing, a little bit can help us to get moving in the right direction 🙂
Sometimes I have these thoughts that run around in my mind that I’m not important, not making a difference, not being significant – the normal human insecurity junk. If you’re like me, I get tired of these ideas. They distract me from important things – most of all, my walk with Jesus. But it is noteworthy to understand that whenever I get my eyes off of Jesus, the Source of love, acceptance, affirmation, comfort, Truth and more, it is in these times that I’m most vulnerable to the insecurity junk. When I keep my thoughts & focus on Jesus, then all of those small ideas seem to fade to gray.
Keeping our eyes & thoughts on Jesus helps to immunize us from the all-to-familiar human insecurity mindset 🙂
Several years ago, there was a really popular book called, “The Tipping Point”. It was basically about how small things can make massive impacts – I really like this concept for lots of different reasons, but most of all for how it connects with James 3:1-6. In these verses, the author talks about how a big ship is turned by a small rudder, the bit in a horse’s mouth can make a horse change direction & how a small spark can create a massive fire. The point for each of these illustrations is to drive home the importance of how we use our words. Small words & conversations that can seem very innocuous can have very significant results, positive or negative. So here are some choices for your consideration with the words that we use:
- compliment or criticize
- support or sarcasm
- gratitude or entitlement
- encourage or discourage
Let’s make wise choices 🙂