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  • Writer's pictureKandi Swift

It's the Little Things - Part 1

Proverbs 4:23 / NIV

Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.

You’ve heard the popular quote, “Don’t sweat the small stuff”. In many cases, this can be great advice. Don’t allow the little things that aren’t important to cause grief and stress. I think we can all agree with that. However, today, I want to challenge that quote for a minute by looking at it from a different perspective. The bible says in Luke 16:10, “One who is faithful in a very little is also faithful in much, and one who is dishonest in a very little is also dishonest in much.” This scripture tells us that the way we manage the little things predicts how we will manage the larger things. From this approach, it seems reasonable that the little things are more important than we sometimes give them credit to be. And it may not even be the little thing itself that is of such great importance but, rather, the way in which we govern or respond to it.

Scenarios like taking a ream of paper from work because there’s so much of it nobody would ever notice, or keeping the extra $20 in change the clerk gave me and considering it my lucky day might seem harmless. It could be true that the company might never miss one ream of paper, or the store is way overpriced so the missing $20 won't hurt them. But responses like these in the little circumstances is a great indicator of how we may respond if presented with a much larger, and possibly more serious, situation. More importantly, it reveals our character. And, is poor character really worth $20?

On more than one occasion, the bible gives an example of the great damage that can be caused when we don’t deal with the little things. Song of Solomon speaks of the little foxes that spoil the vineyards. Here, the scripture is referring to relationships. If the little things aren’t attended to, they have the potential to ultimately destroy the foundation of the relationship. In Matthew 16, Jesus speaks to his disciples and cautions them to beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and Sadducees, which is in reference to their false teachings. Galatians 5:9 says “a little leaven leavens the whole lump”, meaning just a small portion of falsehood, false teaching, or twisting of scripture, has the potential to corrupt one’s entire way of thinking and acceptance of the truth of the gospel.

Paying attention to the small stuff allows us to recognize things about ourselves that we have either ignored, or maybe never even realized was there in the first place. It illuminates problematic behaviors or thought processes and gives us the opportunity to change them before they become big, which ultimately sets us up for success. Little things matter because they grow into bigger things.


Proverbs 4:23 tells us to guard our hearts above all else, because everything we do flows from it. Little things shed light on our character and our character is a condition of the heart. So, how do we go about guarding it? The scripture goes on to instruct us by saying:


24 Put away from you crooked speech, and put devious talk far from you.

25 Let your eyes look directly forward, and your gaze be straight before you.

26 Ponder the path of your feet; then all your ways will be sure.

27 Do not swerve to the right or to the left; turn your foot away from evil.


As we go through the remainder of our week, let’s begin to pay attention to the little things. If they don’t line up with the Word of God, surrender them and allow Him to create in us a clean heart and good character that does what’s right in the little things.

 

Scriptures

Keep your heart with all vigilance, for from it flow the springs of life.


Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me.

Romans 12:2 ESV Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.


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