What is something “small” that seems insignificant to you now? What lesson(s) have you learned from those small things that are guardrails for how you live?
In 1942 a thirteen-year old girl received a diary for her birthday. There is nothing special about that small gift, right? A lot of girls and boys have received a diary from their parents. But this young girl wrote about her experiences in such a way that it captured the minds, hearts, and imaginations of many generations. Her diary has been translated into close to thirty languages.
The Diary of Anne Frank reveals her thoughts, feelings, and fears about hiding out from the Nazis for years during World War Two. Her writing is a riveting account of her world at the time, and her hope in the midst of hatred, brutality, and death. I saw a copy of Anne’s diary in Barnes and Noble recently and I was again glad we still have access to it. Imagine the difference it has made – all due to her faithfulness to regularly record what happened in her teenage years.
It makes me realize how significant small stuff can actually be. Many parents model and teach their children the benefit and practice of manners and chores to be done daily. Many of us learned rightly how to make our beds each morning, speak well to our siblings and parents (especially your mom), and do your assigned task(s) with a cheerful attitude, without groaning or complaining. Many of us were taught to honor our elders, respect authority, and be punctual. We were taught the value of handling money by receiving an allowance based on completed chores…executed with a proper attitude, I might add.
Many of us were also taught to honor God as our Creator. We were taught the two greatest commandments: to love God and love others as ourselves. One application of the second was to maintain close friendships by working out your conflicts sooner than later. It is easier to carry a grudge rather than admitting you contributed to the disharmony and ask for forgiveness.
Read Matthew 25:14-21.
Small stuff can make a difference. Jesus told his followers a story about a rich man who gave a few of his servant’s responsibility for some of his money while he was out of town. The one of the three who put his money to the best use was rewarded with ten times the authority and responsibility. Upon returning, the boss told him, “You have been faithful with a few things. Now I will put you in charge of many” (v 21). Small stuff does make a difference.
Life is full of a lot of stuff that appears so insignificant and does not seem to matter: Keeping your checkbook balanced, running errands, listening to a roommate with a dilemma, getting your homework in on time, cleaning your car and/or bathroom (again), treating others with charity. Yet through them we learn responsibility by taking care of the things entrusted to us.
God wants to see if we can handle what He has given us today. He wants to see us be able to handle bigger responsibilities down the road. If you can’t mend a broken relationship with a roommate now, how will you find the courage to resolve conflict when you are married?
Live communally. How can you be faithful with your responsibilities? One way to love God is to love others. If we prove faithful, we will hear what the servant did in the parable, “Well done.”
Love is a verb,
©2018 by Mike Olejarz