Little Things

As a mom, you’ve probably spent a significant portion of your life cheering your children on. Maybe you knelt on the floor, arms outstretched, as your child took her first steps toward you, urging her to “Come to Mommy, sweetheart!” Or you might have braved cold and rain as you sat huddled on cold metal bleachers to watch him play football. If you’re like me, you might have had to refrain from doing a full-on happy dance as you said, “Yay! You peed in the big potty!”

We cheer our children on when they do things that are big for them, even if those things aren’t big in comparison to what others can do, or if they seem tiny in the grand scheme of things. That’s because when it comes to our children, we know that little things are really big things.

Why don’t we offer ourselves as much grace as we offer our children?

Our preschooler brings us a drawing of somebody who consists of a round head; huge, sort-of round eyes and a wobbly smile; long, stick-legs sticking directly out of the head; arms sticking out of the legs; and some number of fingers on each hand (never 5), and we say, “Good job!”

Our third-grader proudly shows us a paper she wrote at school. In only one paragraph, three words are spelled wrong, and one sentence is missing a capital letter at the beginning. We see her beaming smile, and we say, “I’m proud of you!”

But somewhere between drawing legs sticking out of a head and becoming responsible for earning the money to pay the electric bill, we decide that doing little things well is no longer good enough. If we want to celebrate, we have to do big, important things. Flashy things.

Sounds good, except that Scripture tells us we’re wrong.

Jesus told the story of a master who was going on a long journey. He left his servants in charge of varying degrees of his resources. When he returned, he was equally pleased with the servants who had done everything they could with what he had given them, no matter how much they started out with.

Because the master in the parable represents Jesus Himself, we know that Jesus was telling us that His pleasure in our actions has nothing to do with the grandeur of our results. It has everything to do with doing our best. To Him, that’s not a little thing; it’s a big thing.

And if it’s big to Him, it should be big to us, as well.

Matthew 25:23—“His master replied, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness.’” (NIV)

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