Every One a Part of the Whole, and Don’t Underestimate the Small Stuff

When the widow brought her offering of two small coins to the temple, what thoughts were going through her head? Might she have been embarrassed by the smallness of the gift? Was she tempted that morning to say, “My little coins will make no difference to the temple treasury, so why give up my bread today?”  She could not have imagined that the Master  himself would use her humble act as part of His teaching that would be passed on to followers for thousands of years.

In one twenty-four hour period this week:

* I attend an informal discussion at the church, about the church. Many open their hearts, some opening wide, others opening a crack. But we all come away with more understanding of others, and we have all been changed.

* I tune into Joyce Meyer, and she’s preaching about reaping what you sow, especially in relationships. A payday eventually comes, and whatever seeds you have been planting will bear a harvest.

* I wash dishes and read again the small tin sign hanging on the cupboard: “Friendship is not a big thing, It’s a million little things.”

* I listen to my daughter, who is a naturalist, explain the nature walk she will lead this week with second graders. They’ll be looking at ways animals and living things change their environment. Tiny bugs and bacteria in dead trees change a giant in the woods back to dirt. God has created a huge universe where every miniscule piece is connected to and in some way affects the whole.

Christ’s church has been put together in the same way.

The human body has many parts, but the many parts make up one whole body. So it is with the body of Christ.
If the foot says, “I am not a part of the body because I am not a hand,” that does not make it any less a part of the body. 
In fact, some parts of the body that seem weakest and least important are actually the most necessary.
All of you together are Christ’s body, and each of you is a part of it. 
If one part suffers, all the parts suffer with it, and if one part is honored, all the parts are glad.

Small things change their surroundings; small things make a difference in the big picture. In God’s nature and in the body of Christ, every piece affects the whole.

Did you notice the Scripture says that every believer is a part of Christ’s body, whether or not he thinks he belongs? And every believer changes the whole, sows seeds that bear a harvest, affects the function of the body.

Many people sit back and think nothing they do will make a difference. But every act changes something. One small thing can make a dramatic difference in a person’s day … or in his life. When I was fourteen, a lady of my mother’s generation gave me a word of encouragement one Sunday morning. It was one simple little sentence that I’m certain she has long since forgotten. Yet, throughout the almost five decades since, I have often been warmed by the memory of her words.

A small memory — but our lives are made up of small pieces. The life of the Body is made up of small pieces.

These truths also appear in our effect on the world around us. Jesus says, “You are the salt of the earth.” He’s not asking us to be salt. He’s telling us we are salt. He goes on to talk about salt that has lost its flavor. What we do in our corner of the world seasons our surroundings, flavors our lives and the lives of others.

A number of years ago, the book titled Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff — and it’s all small stuff was so popular that the title became a catch phrase, a modern day proverb. The idea has evolved into a series of books. I understand the premise, that we often agonize and worry and “stress out” over things not worth the energy. We make mountains out of molehills.

But I want to say:  Don’t underestimate the small stuff. Don’t tell yourself, “It doesn’t matter if …”  Because, in all likelihood, it does matter.

After all, how small is a grain of salt? A seed? A germ that can infect and affect an entire community?

It does matter.

*

Scriptures: 1 Corinthians 12: 12,15, 22, 27,26; Matthew 5:13 (All NLT)

 

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