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小事的力量

作者:道格·巴契勒 牧师日期:2017-10-07 10:12:50浏览数:2436
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奇妙真相:也许很多人不敢相信,在建造尼亚加拉瀑布大桥时,开工后的第一步,竟然是由一位名叫霍曼·沃尔什的15岁美国男孩完成的。1848年1月30日,霍曼将他的风筝“联合”号从峡谷的一边放飞到另一边,对岸的一个人拾起风筝后,在风筝线上拴了一条更结实的线,然后霍曼再将这根粗线拉回来。整个过程不断重复。风筝线也越来越粗,先是粗线,后来是细绳,之后是一根更粗一点的绳子,最后是钢丝绳。穿过峡谷的钢丝绳无比结实,能撑住工人、工具和各种材料。最后,一座结实的大桥终于竣工,火车和卡车都能够轻松通过。而这一切不过始于一条细线。

耶稣说:“人在最小的事上忠心,在大事上也忠心;在最小的事上不义,在大事上也不义。”(路加福音16:10)如救主所说,小细节能在大画面上留下重要的一笔。

譬如,在马太福音13:31-32节芥菜种的比喻中,耶稣解释说:“天国好像一粒芥菜种,有人拿去种在田里。这原是百种里最小的,等到长起来,却比各样的菜都大,且成了树,天上的飞鸟来宿在它的枝上。”

你或许知道,芥菜种是中东地区最小的一种种子。但只要给它合适的环境,它就能生长得像小树一样——甚至能为飞鸟提供栖息之所。像种子这般细小之物,竟能生长得如此之巨,真是令人惊叹!

信心也是如此。“你们若有信心,象一粒芥菜种,就是对这座山说:‘你从这边挪到那边。’它也必挪去。”(马太福音17:20)我第一次读到这段经文时,猜想它的意思是说,上帝要赐予我们能力,给不信之人留下深刻印象。但圣经又说,上帝要除去我们的罪孽,并弃之深海。我相信这节经文最终是在说,若你对上帝拥有孩童般微小的信心,祂就必定赦免你那大山般的重罪,并使之沉入深海。

不要低估了小事的力量。耶稣只从一个小男孩那里得到一点午餐,就喂饱了上千人。参孙只用了一小块驴腮骨,就击败了一整支军队。大卫只用了一块小石子,就打倒了一位巨人。因此,只要有丝毫的信心,就能够成就大事。

小罪的危险

在芥菜种的故事中,耶稣想让我们明白,永恒的命运取决于我们生活中的一系列小事,而我们常常对此知之甚少。我刚才所讲的只是它积极的一面。它也有反面力量。

轻忽在小事上的忠心,可能会导致很大的麻烦。正如大卫能用一颗小石子打败巨人,而他的一丝轻率——欲望不绝的偷窥,最终也能酿成奸淫、欺骗甚至谋杀。大卫为此失去了四个儿子,还差点葬送了国家,而这一切,只源于在拔示巴洗澡时的一瞥。

我感到今日的教会有一种趋势,就是忽略基督徒对于细微小事的忠心。当某人为“小事”而较真时,常被指责为太吹毛求疵或律法主义。有些教友会说,“只是看一眼而已。没什么大不了的,不过是饱饱眼福。”但是圣经说,它能、且往往会变成更大的事。我们知道,沉迷于色情可能始于一小段广告,而毒瘾也只是从一点儿尝鲜发展而来的。

对此,基督徒作家怀爱伦曾迫切的写道:“撒但最成功的狡计之一,就是诱人去犯所谓之小罪,将心眼弄瞎看不出小小放纵,和稍微偏离上帝明确要求的危险。有许多人因恐惧而畏缩不敢犯大罪,竟被引诱视所谓的小罪为不足介意的琐事。可是这些小罪却将心灵中虔敬的生命蚀尽。殊不知那踏上偏离正路小径的脚步,竟正是走向那引至死亡的大道呢。”(《(《评论与通讯》1887年10月8日)。

我们需要明白小罪的危险。很多基督徒终其一生都未曾意识到,所谓的小罪,对于我们与耶稣的同行、以及我们的救恩是何等致命。这就是我为何要讨论被很多信徒轻视的某些方面的原因,我祈求我们的性情都能越来越像耶稣。

闲话的力量

1871年,芝加哥发生了一场致命大火。已经调查清楚的起火原因竟是,在欧利黎夫人的谷仓中,有头母牛的一条后腿因为抽搐,而踢到了一只羊羔,羊羔受惊之下乱跑,将一小捆干草拖到火上,并燃烧起来。很快,整个谷仓就火光冲天,而后又迅速蔓延并吞噬了整个城市。上百人因此丧生,并造成了数百万美元的损失。而这一切皆起因一头抽搐的母牛。

雅各书3:5节说:“这样,舌头在百体里是最小的,却能说大话”。与心脏相比,舌头只是身体中很小的部件,但若不加以谨慎的控制,就会导致如同患上心脏病一样的危险后果。

有时,我们只是动了一下舌头,随口说出一句无心的闲谈,便有可能被人抓住话柄,并如野火般四散传播。这些“小闲话”,能迅速引发“大心病”。有时甚至会导致战争。俗话说:白蚁吞噬的房屋比地震摧毁的更多。我相信,朋友的无心之谈,往往会比敌人公开的诽谤更令人感到痛苦。

世界上最致命的动物并非老虎或黑熊,也不是一头狂奔的大象或犀牛。没错,它就是蚊子。这种细小的东西,借着疟疾的传播,在一年之内就能杀死三百余万人。一些专家曾断言,每两个活着的人中,就有一人可能死于蚊虫叮咬。因为它们体型很小,以致人们低估了这种昆虫的危险。

我们同样也低估了自己的言语。言语也会叮人,它们会刺痛人心。耶稣说,每一句闲话——闲言碎语——“凡人所说的闲话,当审判的日子,必要句句供出来。因为要凭你的话定你为义;也要凭你的话定你有罪。”(马太福音12:36)说句话只需几秒,但其影响却能持续到永远。

著名歌星卡伦·卡朋特死于神经性厌食症,据其哥哥说,妹妹年轻时有人叫她“理查德的胖妹子”。她永远忘不了那句话,不仅伤了她的自尊,最终还毁了她的身体。我可以断言,说话的人现在早已忘记,如果他还能记得,恐怕很想把它收回。你是否也曾有过那样不幸的经历?

当然,也有相反的一面。一点小小的鼓励和寄予希望,就能翻转人生。“你今天看起来真不错!”就这一句话,便能立刻让人在精神上重拾希望和自信。想不想让人感觉良好?只要说句“你知道吗,我非常感谢你和你所做的”。只言片语足以带来难以置信的改变。

圣经说,‘谨守口舌,得保生命;大张嘴的,必致败亡’。(箴言13:3)我们进入主的家庭,就更当尤为谨慎言行,因为一句友好的玩笑,也许会变成无意的流言。我们应当谨守己心,并时常管住舌头。

当你思想我们一天中所说的话——就会发现,对某人某事做出负面论断何等容易——你也许还会变得消极。如果不是上帝的慈爱——祂洗去我不慎不善之言所致的后果,我恐怕早已麻烦缠身。事情虽小,但控制起来却并不容易。

但我们仍有希望并要祈求圣灵的帮助。就如同当我们的煤气快要用完时,仪表盘上的警示灯会不停的闪烁一样,上帝的圣灵也会介入,并使你停下来思想当说的话。就像我的过去,你也许会感到惊讶,因为上帝所赐的指示灯竟然闪烁得如此频繁。

你可能在想,我每天倒底该说多少话才好?不要为此困惑,圣经说:“你在上帝面前不可冒失开口,也不可心急发言,因为上帝在天上,你在地下,所以你的言语要寡少。”(传道书 5:2)

分秒的力量

大山是由很多细沙组成,一生的时光也是由无数的分分秒秒组成。当我们浪费时光时,我们就是在虚掷生命。圣经说:“因人懒惰,房顶塌下;因人手懒,房屋滴漏。”(传道书 10:18)

托马斯·杰斐逊就是一个条理极其分明的人。他在工作上不仅才华横溢,而且成就颇丰。由于深受卫斯理文化的影响,他每天早早地就起床进餐。为了不浪费时间,他常常边吃饭边读书。练习完小提琴之后,又集中精力做实验。无怪乎他能改变历史的进程,因为他知道时间的宝贵价值。

我觉得,那些分秒必争的人寿命也会更长。杰斐逊活到87岁,但你若不珍惜上帝所赐的时间,恐怕就活不到那个岁数了。箴言19:15节教导说:“懒惰使人沉睡,懈怠的人必受饥饿”。人的勤奋和成功之间有着某种直接关联,而人的懒惰和毫无成就亦是如此。

时间有多重要?在奥运会上,一秒之差足以区别冠军和季军。零星片时大有力量。我们要明智地使用时间,因为上帝要把我们造成勤奋的人。

箴言中很多有力的经文,皆论到这一主题。“我经过懒惰人的田地、无知人的葡萄园,荆棘长满了地皮,刺草遮盖了田面,石墙也坍塌了。我看见就留心思想;我看着就领了训诲。再睡片时,打盹片时,抱着手躺卧片时,你的贫穷就必如强盗速来,你的缺乏仿佛拿兵器的人来到。” (箴24:30-34)这节经文中讲到很多小事,但我们若不留意,它们就会变成大事。

一个无人打理的花园将会杂草丛生。有时我让孩子们去花园里干活,但是用不了五分钟,他们就开始抱怨,想要回去。我知道自己像个监工,但就像我的父亲——他曾给我讲过很多他勤奋工作的故事,我们也当为孩子们创造一种想要工作的意愿。我们都当以一种能产生果效并荣耀上帝的方式使用时间。

瑕疵的力量

不知你的感觉如何,我是极其讨厌眼睛里进东西。就我而言,如果没有把落入眼中的睫毛清理出去,整个世界就会停止转动。绝大部分人在属灵的事物上也是如此。你可能会因为路上有人加塞,以至于一整天工作起来都很烦躁。所以当你的同事得罪你时,你就责备他们无视于你的需求。

有时,我们只看到别人眼中的瑕疵,而无法容忍任何事情。却看不到自己的错误,因为我们只注目于别人的过失,并因此而满腹牢骚。看看耶稣对此怎么说?

“为什么看见你弟兄眼中有刺,却不想自己眼中有梁木呢?你不见自己眼中有梁木,怎能对你弟兄说:‘容我去掉你眼中的刺’呢?你这假冒为善的人,先去掉自己眼中的梁木,然后才能看得清楚,去掉你弟兄眼中的刺。”(路6:42)

正是因为这点瑕疵,我们才会论断他人,并且自以为知道问题在哪儿,知道他们应该怎么做。耶稣说,多数时候,是我们自己眼中有梁木。不要把自己耗费在他人的小错上,要避免论断别人的内心。你若能小心自己的瑕疵,就会经历耶稣更多的充满与更亲密的同行。“要给我们擒拿狐狸,就是毁坏葡萄园的小狐狸,因为我们的葡萄正在开花。”(雅歌 2:15)我们之所以常常错过生命中的美好,是因为我们任由小狐狸干犯我们的生活。

谦逊的力量

耶稣曾受到一位名叫西门的法利赛人的邀请参赴晚宴。当他们吃到一半时,一个有罪的女人不请自来地走进饭厅。她自知不配,因此并没有坐到桌旁。相反,她双膝跪下将香膏倒在耶稣的脚上,用自己的眼泪为祂洗脚,又用头发为祂擦干。法利赛人心想,“这人若是先知,必知道摸他的是谁,是个怎样的女人,乃是个罪人。”(路加福音 7:39)

耶稣看透了他的心思,于是回答说,“西门,我有句话要对你说。”西门说:“夫子,请说。” 耶稣说:“一个债主有两个人欠他的债;一个欠五十两银子,一个欠五两银子。因为他们无力偿还,债主就开恩免了他们两个人的债。这两个人哪一个更爱他呢?”

对西门来说,答案不言自明。“我想是那多得恩免的人。”

于是耶稣便对西门说:“你看见这女人吗?我进了你的家,你没有给我水洗脚;但这女人用眼泪湿了我的脚,用头发擦干;你没有与我亲嘴;但这女人从我进来的时候就不住地用嘴亲我的脚;你没有用油抹我的头;但这女人用香膏抹我的脚。 所以我告诉你,她许多的罪都赦免了,因为她的爱多;但那赦免少的,他的爱就少。”

问题在于,如果我们把自己看作罪小之人,对于上帝浩大的恩典所存的感谢之心就少。罪小的人得到的救恩也少。那些自认为罪大的人,对于伟大救主的感激之心也会更多。

并且那些自我虚己的人,上帝能在他们身上成就最多的工作。基甸问:“主啊,你要怎样使用我呢?我在我父家是最小的。”大卫说,“我是小的,只是个牧童”。保罗说,“我是使徒中最小的。”这就是为何上帝能借着他们施行大事,因为他们看到,对比耶稣,他们自己是何等渺小。我们若自视过高,上帝就难以在我们身上做工。我最喜欢马丁路德的一句名言,他曾说,“上帝从无有中创造,因此只有当我们成为无有,祂才能使用我们。”

耶稣警告说,“你们若不回转,变成小孩子的样式,断不得进天国。”(马太福音18:3)

切勿嘲笑罪

如果你的医生说,“请勿担心,你不过患有一点麻风病而已。”你恐怕着急想要换个医生。如果医生把你的麻风病说成是“有一小块毒葛”,你肯定很不高兴。但这却是基督徒今日在很多教会中听到的说法。

我们已经对耶稣的工作缺乏感恩。我们对罪一笑而过。我们会说,“孩子,我吃多了。这饭菜那么好吃,我真是控制不住。”这虽然只是个玩笑,但却说明了一个重要的道理。为何我们很容易忽视贪食呢?与此相似,我们也会用“夸张”代替撒谎。我们毫无不洁的想法,我们只是“白日做梦”。我们并未辱骂配偶,我们只不过发生了“热烈的争执”。我们并非骄傲,我们只是“自信”。我们也并不贪婪,我们只是“很有上进心”。并且我们也没有失丧,我们不过是“试验世界”而已。

要当机立断。“小罪”本身就是矛盾,是一种相互对立的说法。当我们想到耶稣为世界之罪而死,这世上还有“小”罪的说法吗?

“愚妄人犯罪,以为戏耍”。(箴言书 14:9)既然罪已经导致数十亿人的死亡,我们为何还要对某些罪视而不见呢?夏娃不过吃了一小口水果而已,看看后来发生了什么?是的,罪的程度虽有不同,但一星半点就已然是对救主的巨大背叛。这正如只要丝毫信心,就足以使罪石沉大海。

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The Power of Little Things

An Amazing Fact: The first step in constructing a bridge over the Niagara Falls Gorge was made by a 15-year-old American named Homan Walsh. On January 30, 1848, Homan flew a kite he named Union from one side of the gorge to the other. Someone on the opposite side caught the kite and tied a stronger string to the end of the kite string, and Holman pulled the new, thicker string back across the gorge. The process was repeated with an even stronger string, then a cord, then a thin rope, then a thicker rope, and eventually a steel cable, which crossed the expanse and was strong enough to support workers, tools, and materials. Finally, a sturdy bridge, over which trains and trucks could easily pass, was completed. And it all began with a string.

Jesus says, “He that is faithful in that which is least is faithful also in much: and he that is unjust in the least is unjust also in much” (Luke 16:10). According to our Savior, little things can make a significant impact on the big picture.

For instance, in the parable of the mustard seed in Matthew 13:31–32, He explains, “The kingdom of heaven is like to a grain of mustard seed, which a man took, and sowed in his field: Which indeed is the least of all seeds: but when it is grown, it is the greatest among herbs, and becometh a tree, so that the birds of the air come and lodge in the branches thereof.”

As you probably know, the mustard seed is one of the smallest seeds planted in the Middle East. But nurtured in the right conditions, it can grow into something resembling a small tree — even providing a haven for birds. It’s amazing what a tiny thing like a seed can become.

Faith is like that. If you have faith the size of a mustard seed, you can say to a mountain, “Move from here to there,” and it will move (Matthew 17:20 NKJV). Now, the first time I read this passage, I thought it meant that God gives us power so we can impress unbelieving friends. But the Bible also says that God takes our sins and casts them into the depths of the sea. I believe this ultimately means that if you invest a small, childlike faith in God, He can forgive your mountain of sins and cast them into the deepest depths of the ocean.

Don’t underestimate the power of little things. Jesus took a little lunch from a little boy and fed thousands. With a little jawbone, Samson slew an army. David took a little stone and brought down a giant. With just a little faith, great things can be accomplished.

The Danger of Little Sins


In the story of the mustard seed, Jesus wants us to understand that eternal salvation can pivot on a variety of little things in our lives, often more than we really know. So far, I have addressed the positive aspect of this phenomenon. But there is an opposite dynamic as well.

Neglecting faithfulness in the little things can lead to big trouble. As much as David brought down a giant with something little, a small indiscretion — a lingering lustful look — turned into adultery, deception, and even murder. He lost four of his sons and nearly the kingdom over something that started with a little look at Bathsheba taking a bath.

Yet I sense a trend in today’s churches to ignore the little details of Christian faithfulness. When someone identifies “little sins,” he or she is often accused of being petty or legalistic. Some churchgoing men say, “It’s just a look. It doesn’t matter as long as you’re just window shopping.” But the Bible says it can, and often will, turn into something much bigger. We know that addiction to pornography begins with just a little ad and addiction to drugs begins with just a little sample.

The Christian writer E.G. White puts it this way: “It is one of Satan’s most successful devices, to lead men to the commission of little sins, to blind the mind to the danger of little indulgences, little digressions from the plainly stated requirements of God. Many who would shrink with horror from some great transgression, are led to look upon sin in little matters as of trifling consequence. But those little sins eat out the life of godliness in the soul” (Review & Herald, November 8, 1887).

We need to understand the danger of “little” sins. Many Christians are going through life without recognizing how lethal they can be to our walk with Christ and, ultimately, to our very salvation. That’s why I want to look at some areas that many believers don’t take seriously. I pray that together our characters can become more like Christ’s.

The Power of Little Words


The Great Chicago Fire occurred in 1871. Evidently, in Mrs. O’Leary’s barn, a cow twitched its leg and kicked over a lamp. That lamp broke and caught a wisp of hay on fire. Soon, the whole barn was up in flames, which then spread to and consumed the city. Hundreds of people died and millions of dollars of damage occurred, all from a twitching cow.

In James 3:5, we learn, “Even so the tongue is a little member and boasts great things. See how great a forest a little fire kindles!” (NKJV). The tongue is a very small part of our body when compared to something like our heart. But it can create problems as bad as a heart attack if we’re not careful with how we use it.

Sometimes when we utter a careless word of gossip, when our tongue twitches, a person will seize upon that word and spread it like wildfire. Soon those little words can cause big heartache; in some cases, it can even start a war. It’s been said that termites destroy more property than earthquakes. And I believe more sorrow is caused by the careless words of a friend than by the open slanders of an enemy.

The deadliest animal in the world isn’t a tiger or bear — or a stampeding elephant or rhino. No, it’s a mosquito. This tiny beast kills about three million people a year through the spread of malaria. Some experts say it might have caused the death of one out of every two human beings who have ever lived. Yet we underestimate these creatures because of their size.

We also underestimate our words. They can be biting. They can sting. Jesus said, “Every idle word” — every little word — “that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment. For by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned” (Matthew 12:36). They can take only a few milliseconds to say, but the effect of words can last forever.

The brother of famous singer Karen Carpenter, who died of anorexia, says that when his sister was younger, someone referred to her as “Richard’s chubby little sister.” She never got that out of her mind, and it destroyed her self-esteem and eventually her whole body. I’m fairly certain that the person who said it wouldn’t remember saying it, but if he did, he probably would want to take it back. How many times have you been in that unfortunate circumstance?

Of course, the opposite is also true. Little words of encouragement and hope can turn a life around. The phrase “You’re looking nice today” can restore self-confidence and hope instantly to someone’s spirit. Want to make someone feel better now? Say the little phrase, “You know, I really appreciate you and what you do.” Little words can make an incredible difference.

The Bible says, “He who guards his mouth preserves his life, But he who opens wide his lips shall have destruction” (Proverbs 13:3 NKJV). We should be especially careful with our words when we come into the house of the Lord, where what often begins as friendly banter can turn into careless gossip. We should keep our hearts reverent and our tongue in control always.

When you think about all the words we say in a day — and how easy it is to say something negative about something or somebody — you might be prone to get discouraged. If it weren’t for the mercy of God, who has washed away the penalty of the careless, dumb, unkind things I’ve said, I’d too be in big trouble. For something so small, it can be so hard to control.

But we have hope. Ask the Holy Spirit to help you. Just like when you are about to run out of gas and your warning light flashes on your dashboard, God’s Spirit will step in and give you pause to reconsider what you are about to say. Like I have been in the past, you might be surprised how many times that light flashes. You might wonder how little you will be able to say in a day. Don’t let it get you down, because the Bible says, “Be not rash with thy mouth, and let not thine heart be hasty to utter any thing before God: for God is in heaven, and thou upon earth: therefore let thy words be few” (Ecclesiastes 5:2, emphasis added).

The Power of a Little Time


Mountains are made of many grains of sand, and lifetimes are made of many little moments. When we waste our moments, we waste our lives. The Bible says, “Because of laziness the building decays, and through idleness of hands the house leaks” (Ecclesiastes 10:18 NKJV).

Thomas Jefferson was an incredibly organized human being. He was something of a renaissance man in not only the quality of his work, but in quantity as well. Heavily influenced by the Methodist culture, which preaches an emphasis on planning and structure, he’d wake up early to eat breakfast. While eating, he would read because he didn’t want to waste any time. After practicing the violin, he would turn his attention to his experiments. It’s no wonder he changed the course of history: He recognized the precious value of time.

I’m inclined to think that those who appreciate the value of little moments are given a little more life. Jefferson lived to be 87, but you might not be blessed with that much time if you’re wasting what God has given you. Proverbs 19:15 teaches, “Laziness casts one into a deep sleep, and an idle person will suffer hunger” (NKJV). There is a direct correlation between those who are hard workers and are successful, as well as those who are lazy and don’t do well for themselves.

How important is time? In the Olympics, a fraction of a second can be the difference between victory and third place. A little bit of time can be a powerful thing. We need to use that time wisely, as God created us to be industrious.

The Proverbs have a particularly powerful passage on this subject. “I went by the field of the slothful, and by the vineyard of the man void of understanding; And, lo, it was all grown over with thorns, and nettles had covered the face thereof, and the stone wall thereof was broken down. Then I saw, and considered it well: I looked upon it, and received instruction. Yet a little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to sleep: So shall thy poverty come as one that travelleth; and thy want as an armed man” (24:30–34). There are a lot of littles in this passage, but they can turn into something big if we are not careful.

A garden left to itself breeds weeds. Sometimes I put my kids to work in our garden, and after just five minutes, they are complaining and ready to go inside. I’m a taskmaster, I know. But like my father who told me stories about how hard he worked, we need to create a mind for work in our children. We all need to use our time in a way that is productive and glorifies God.

The Power of a Little Speck


I don’t know about you, but I hate to get anything in my eye. As far as I am concerned, the whole world can stop spinning until I address that renegade eyelash. Most people are like this in spiritual matters too. Someone might cut you off in traffic and cause you to feel irritated all day long at work; then a co-worker offends you and you berate them for being insensitive to your needs.

Sometimes we’ll see a little speck in somebody else’s eye and we can’t enjoy anything else. We don’t see anything wrong with ourselves because we’re so preoccupied with their little slight and we’re consumed with criticism. Jesus had something to say about this.

“And why do you look at the speck in your brother’s eye, but do not perceive the plank in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Brother, let me remove the speck that is in your eye,’ when you yourself do not see the plank that is in your own eye? Hypocrite! First remove the plank from your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck that is in your brother’s eye” (Luke 6:41, 42 NKJV).

All because of a little speck, we go around judging people and thinking we know the problem and how they can fix it. Jesus said that most of the time, we have a 4-by-4 in our own eye. Don’t let someone else’s little problems consume you, and refrain from judging their hearts. You’ll experience a lot more fulfillment and a closer walk with Jesus by focusing on your own little specks. “Catch us the little foxes, the little foxes that spoil the vines, for our vines have tender grapes” (Song of Solomon 2:15 NKJV). We have often lost the beautiful things in life because of the little foxes we allow to come into our lives.

The Power of a Little Humility


Jesus was once invited to dinner by a Pharisee named Simon. During the course of their meal, a sinful woman, perhaps not even invited, entered into the banquet hall. Feeling unworthy, she’s didn’t sit at the table. Instead, she fell on her knees and poured ointment and tears over Jesus’ feet, wiping them with her hair. The Pharisee thought to himself, “This Man, if He were a prophet, would know who and what manner of woman this is who is touching Him, for she is a sinner” (Luke 7:39 NKJV).

Knowing his thoughts, Jesus answered, “Simon, I have something to tell you. … Two men owed money to a certain moneylender. One owed him five hundred denarii, and the other fifty. Neither of them had the money to pay him back, so he canceled the debts of both. Now which of them will love him more?”

To Simon, the answer was clear. “I suppose the one who had the bigger debt cancelled.”

Then Jesus explained, “I came into your house. You did not give me any water for my feet, but she wet my feet with her tears and wiped them with her hair. You did not give me a kiss, but this woman, from the time I entered, has not stopped kissing my feet. You did not put oil on my head, but she has poured perfume on my feet. Therefore, I tell you, her many sins have been forgiven—for she loved much. But he who has been forgiven little loves little.”

The point is, if we view ourselves as little sinners, we will have little appreciation for the enormity of God’s grace. It’s the little sinners who have a little savior. Those who see themselves as great sinners appreciate the greatness of their Savior.

Moreover, those who view themselves with an attitude of humility are those that God can do the most through. Gideon said, “Lord, how can you use me? I am the least in my father’s house.” David said, “I’m the least, just a shepherd boy.” Paul said, “I am the least of the apostles.” That’s why God could do so much through them, because they saw how little they were next to Him. When we become great in our own eyes, God can do little with us. One of my favorite quotes about this comes from Martin Luther; he said, “God creates from nothing so until we become nothing He can do nothing with us.”

Jesus also warns, “Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 18:3).

Don’t Mock at Sin


If your doctor said, “You’ve just got a little bit of leprosy, so don’t worry,” you’d probably start worrying and look for another doctor. You probably wouldn’t be too happy with him if he called your case of leprosy “just a touch of poison oak” either. But that’s something like what Christians are hearing today from many churches.

We have lost an appreciation for the work of Christ. We have downplayed sins with pithy jokes. We say, “Boy, I ate way too much at potluck. It was so good, I couldn’t stop myself.” I know it’s a simple joke, but it illustrates something important. Why do we overlook gluttony so easily? Likewise, instead of lying, we “exaggerate.” We don’t have dirty thoughts; we just “daydream.” We don’t abuse our spouses; we just have “heated disagreements.” We’re not prideful; we’re just “confident.” We’re not greedy; we’re just “motivated.” And we’re not lost; we’re just “experimenting with the world.”

It needs to stop. “Little sins” is an oxymoron, a total contradiction in terms. When we think about the death of Christ for the sins of the world, is there even really such a thing as a “little” sin?

“Fools mock at sin” (Proverbs 14:9). Yet sin has led to the death of billions of people. Why do we treat some sins as if they were nothing? Well, Eve just ate a little piece of fruit, and look what happened! Yes, there are varying degrees of sin. But even a little sin can manifest a huge rebellion against the Lord. Just like a little faith can relocate those sins into the depths of the sea.

Little things can make a big difference!