“Then another message came to me from the Lord: Zerubbabel is the one who laid the foundation of this Temple, and he will complete it. Then you will know that the Lord of Heaven’s Armies has sent me. Do not despise these small beginnings, for the Lord rejoices to see the work begin, to see the plumb line in Zerubbabel’s hand.” ― Zechariah 4:8-10.
John Wooden, the famous basketball coach, said, “It’s the little things that are vital. Little things make big things happen.” Change doesn’t happen on its own. It has to be intentional. You can’t lose weight just by thinking about it. You can’t stop bad habits by writing them down on a piece of paper and drawing a line through them. It takes more.
The same thing is true of spiritual growth. Life change is always a process of focusing on one small thing and then making incremental steps in the right direction that lead us to where we want and need to be. Big things in life have an impact on us, to be sure, yet when you stop to think about it, the little things often carry an even greater impact.
Jesus understood that. Jesus always placed great emphasis on little things. Just look at His parables. Every one of His stories dealt with some big spiritual issue, but have you noticed that in the telling of the story, He always focused on the little things of life—like the hairs on a person’s head or birds, or flowers of the field or seeds or weeds or lost coins. He noticed the little things; like the slightest touching of His garment by a woman who had been ill for years, like the tax collector perched on the branch of a tree, like a widow dropping her little coins into the offering plate.
That is good news for each one of us because our life is not typically an ongoing series of large events spiritually. Very few people are going to have an impact on tens of thousands of people. Most of us tend to sweat the small stuff. But sometimes in our walk with the Lord, we neglect what we might perceive as “the little things” due to our hectic schedules. We forget that daily time with God in His Word, prayer, and serving others all help us learn to be faithful. Luke 16:10 tells us, “If you are faithful in little things, you will be faithful in large ones. But if you are dishonest in little things, you won’t be honest with greater responsibilities.” In other words, how we handle small stuff makes a huge difference in how we’ll handle the big stuff.
The little things may end up being more important than we realize. Conversations with a friend, listening to someone who is hurting, thank-you cards, phone calls, buying groceries, cutting somebody’s grass, or just treating a stranger with respect can have a greater impact than we realize. Little things do matter. Unfortunately, we cannot predict which little thing will make a big difference in someone’s life. But that should not stop us from doing them because little things matter and only God knows how much.
If little things can make a big difference to Jesus, then little things can make a big difference for us.
- Think about your past attempts to change. Have you made resolutions or sweeping promises to change? How well did it work?
- How can little things make a difference in our walk with God?