I like to keep things simple. Choose spoken words carefully, avoiding those with no value and speaking only when there is a least some chance that someone is remotely interested in what I have to say. The flip side of this is that I often make the universal sign for “blah blah blah” when someone else is talking too much. I’m judgemental. People spew more words than I want to listen to. And at least once a day, I accuse someone of “making something a lot more complicated than it needs to be.”
Maybe we have a lot of churches that are treading water by doing both of these things at the same time:
1) Making it too simple. “Invite people to church.” “Tell people about Jesus.”
2) Making things a lot more complicated than they need to be. See the two directives in #1. People freak out about their shortcomings and get stopped in their tracks because they can’t see themselves doing “the big stuff” that churchy people speak of. Then think about your own inadequacies, lack of bible knowledge, shyness, less than stellar reputation from a previous life, etc. It becomes overwhelming, hopeless……especially for new believers. BIG STEPS SEEMS TOO HARD AND PATHS FOR SMALL STEPS AREN’T LAID OUT CLEARLY ENOUGH.
Obviously, it’s a difficult matter to balance, but maybe we could be more effective in the true mission of our churches simply by teaching our members to be more like Jesus? (sounds so easy, right?) But I guess poor disciples can’t effectively spread Christianity.
I know I come back to this verse time after time:
Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.
But it seems that new and long-time believers alike miss out on the life that God desires for them because we fail to embrace the concept of daily growth/change/surrender.
We know big changes are needed and fail to seek God’s guidance through the patience of making small changes over time.
It seems hopeless.
We can’t see the end, so we don’t even take the first step. We fail to trust.
Face each day with a willingness to change for God.
Or perhaps worse, we fail to acknowledge the need to change.
We coast, living under the impression that we’re doing ok.
We settle for mediocrity, living only by our own strength and not by faith.
I guess I should really circle to a point since I claim to be a man of few words.
If you are a Christian of one week or 50 years, you have spent periods trying to figure out what the heck your spiritual gift is.
You may be like me and spend years believing you have none. You can’t do anything BIG, so you do nothing at all?
In Matthew 28:19 Jesus says to make disciples of all nations. Sounds like a pretty tall order on the surface.
Now go back to Romans 12:2.
The great commission starts in our mind with our commitment study God’s word, to seek his will daily, to become more like Jesus each day. If we are to tell the world about Jesus, our co-workers, friends and neighbors have to see us living like Jesus.
We have to become credible messengers.
My spiritual gift….and yours…..is small victories.
Daily growth, closer to God. Understanding His word and His will more each day.
Loving others, forgiving, serving, putting others before self.
Modeling honesty, kindness, compassion, integrity, strong work ethic.
Placing value on every relationship and every encounter with every person every day.
I guess it was in the 90’s that the “Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff” books were popular.
I think the concept was not stressing or freaking out about small stuff (good idea).
I can’t see myself hitting many homeruns in my Christian walk.
But consider the value of the opportunities that “small stuff” present each day.
When we tackle the small stuff God’s way, time after time, day after day……….that small stuff becomes an absolute jackpot.
Others may actually want to follow who you follow.
Others may place value on your spoken words.
Seek God’s guidance each day to make the small stuff count.