Being Faithful with the Little

Being Faithful with the Little

We often think we can’t do much to change the situations we are in but by being faithful with the little we have we can move mountains. It’s the little things that give you away. 

It seemed such a small thing.

I remember my parents’ daily little habit of reading the Bible. I think they had a daily devotional sitting alongside as they read.

Why I remember this because as a young child I would cuddle in between them as my father would read holy words into the new day.

Little faithful habits build thinking structures that shape the world.

I have written about my mother’s bible faithfully read and little quotes added here and there.

I remember on Sundays going to our place of worship and seeing my father sit in the pew and quietly bow his head in prayer before the service. I’m not sure what he prayed, but maybe it was something like ‘God, I’m here, speak to me.’

My observation of them being faithful with the little taught me a great deal.

Your parents did too. Good and bad. They provided micro-influencers to shape how you see your world and how you understand God.

I believe that how you see God is how you see everything. Never despise the little.

Being Faithful with the Little

Jesus was all about the little and often unseen.

He praised the poor widow, giving a couple of cents rather than the performance of a rich man, making sure everybody heard all the coins clattering into the collection box.

Just then he looked up and saw the rich people dropping offerings in the collection plate.
Then he saw a poor widow put in two pennies.
He said, “The plain truth is that this widow has given by far the largest offering today.
All these others made offerings that they’ll never miss; she gave extravagantly what she couldn’t afford—she gave her all!” Luke 21:1-4

It’s the little mustard seed being sown, dying under the soil and then growing into a large tree.

Being faithful and trustworthy with the small shapes and moulds us to be faithful and trustworthy with the much.

Whoever is faithful in a very little is faithful also in much. Luke 16:10

You know that they will not leave the narrow path of what has shaped them. It has been ground into their very being.

‘This is who I am, this is what I do, know me by my behaviours’

 

It’s the little things that give you away

In listening to people, it’s the micro expressions that speak so much about the inner world.

A subtle lift of voice, a movement of eyes, a smile, a grimace all add to the wholeness of expression.

I always find listening to robots frustrating!

As Bono sings

It’s the little thingsThe little things that give you away. Bono

We can tell a lot about others by the little things and their faithfulness to them.

What are the little things that you faithfully, even unconsciously, do?

They may be things that are truly good for you, but there may be things that you need to relinquish and let go of.

Thinking habits spring to mind. Little barbs that cut deep and long.

  • I’m not good enough
  • I’m useless
  • God hates me
  • Everyone hates me
  • Nothing is going to change

Perhaps a change is needed where you faithfully speak truth into the core of your being.

  • I am loved
  • I am held
  • I am known
  • I have value
  • I have worth
  • God loves me
  • God loves the little I have to offer and multiply it
  • I can change through the faithful application of the little into my thinking and behaviours

God sees the faithful commitment to the little acts of quiet service and therefore, more is entrusted to you.

You are a faithful servant and can be relied on to ‘deliver the goods’.

It’s who you are, it’s what you do, and people know what God is like because they see it in your little acts of love done with great love.

Not all of us can do great things. But we can do small things with great love. Mother Teresa

Small things add up. Little acts of quiet service add up to a lifestyle of generosity.

Quotes to consider

  • There are no little people in God’s sight, so there are no little places. To be wholly committed to God in the place where God wants him—this is the creature glorified … This is the way of the Christian: he should choose the lesser place until God extrudes him into a position of more responsibility and authority. Francis Schaeffer.
  • Spiritual growth begins with the easily overlooked disciplines of attentiveness and surrender. David Benner
  • To destroy abuses is not sufficient; customs must be modified. The mill is there no longer; the wind is still there. Victor Hugo Les Misérables
  • Only hour by hour gratitude is strong enough to overcome all temptations to resentment. Richard Rohr. Breathing Under Water: Spirituality and the Twelve Steps.
  • Grace leads us to an amazing and startling recognition. “My life is not about me.” Richard Rohr -Job and the Mystery of Suffering. 
  • I know nothing, except what everyone knows – if there when Grace dances, I should dance. W. H. Auden, Collected Poems
  • When grace enters a room, we should begin to dance but, sadly, more often than not we let some little thing, some minor mosquito bite, blind us to grace’s presence. Ronald Rolheiser 
  • Grace is amazing, by disorienting us, it properly orients us. Ronald Rolheiser 

Questions to consider

  1. What little things have shaped your life?
  2. What little things give you away to others? i.e. what would others say about you by the little things you do? (please don’t be hard on your self)
  3. Who do you know that does small things with great love?

Formation exercise

  • Find some small coins, widow’s mites as such, and secretly give them away. Do this every day for a week and journal or email me barry@turningthepage.co.nz (put in the subject line ‘Little Coins’) about what has happened in you as you have done this small but faithful act. For example, put the coin on a shelf in a store for someone to find later.

Further reading

Being Formed as a Little Child

How to Create New Rope Bridges in our Thinking

You’re not a Problem to be Fixed

Barry Pearman

Photo by Sindy Süßengut on Unsplash

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