God of Small Things What seems to be insignificant in our daily lives can hold immense value from Heaven’s perspective. Hard to believe? Read on to find out more… “Do Small Things with Great Love” —my T-shirt features this well-known quote from Mother Teresa. Although I often wear the T-shirt at home, I had never considered its message deeply. Who really wants to do small things or even regard them as important? To be honest, most of us dream of doing something big, something extraordinary and remarkable which will bring us applause, admiration, recognition, self-satisfaction, and a sense of greatness.
The world tells us to go big or go home. We are only admired and considered great when we are successful in every area of life. So, somehow, we have subscribed to this notion—Big things = Greatness.
For most of my life, I’d believed the same thing. Perhaps this was why I was never quite content. I begged God to change my circumstances. I cried millions of tears for being given children with special needs. I wanted a different life. Being there for my children’s needs felt like being trapped between four walls at home.
I looked for meaning and purpose outside of God’s plans. Instead of paying close attention to what He wanted me to do, I pursued my own wishes. I refused to do “small things” in order to do big things merely for recognition. I preferred doing different things, and works which I thought would bring value to my life along with a sense of greatness and fulfillment.
I had it all wrong. Instead of being content in the realm where God had placed me, I was creating my own kingdom for my own happiness and glory. It took years for me to understand that greatness doesn’t come from doing my own will, proving my own worth to the world, gaining accolades or even showcasing my talents and skills. Rather it comes from remaining at the center of God’s will. Greatness comes from influencing, impacting, and serving in my own home, among my own community. Sometimes this realm may seem small and insignificant, but serving with love as He did will ultimately reveal the greater picture of His plans.
As Tony Evans says in his book, Destiny, “When you are living your life according to God’s purpose, He will cause all things in your life to blend together for good. When you are committed to Him above all else, He will measure everything in your life—the good, bad, and bitter and blend them into something divine.” In essence, everything in your life, even the smallest, can yield a significant outcome for His glory when you remain faithful to the little you have been entrusted with (remembering the Parable of the Talents Matthew 25).
The Master’s Example
Jesus redefines greatness by showing us a way which is contrary to the world. Small things = Greatness. Jesus said to His disciples, “Whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be your slave” (Matthew 20:26 – 27).
He reiterated that over and over again, and demonstrated it on the night before He died when He knelt before His apostles and washed their feet.
We often regard “service” as insignificant and beneath us, but Jesus shows us, in every word and action, what tremendous significance the smallest things can have in building His Kingdom. In His parables, He compares those actions to a tiny mustard seed which grows into the greatest of trees, or a pinch of yeast which makes dough grow and become more palatable. He chose to be born in a common stable instead of a royal palace. He noticed and valued the greater worth of the widow’s two coins amidst the great wealth cast into the treasury from what others had to spare. He transformed the gift of a boy’s lunch into an all-you-can-eat feast for over five thousand. He invited little ones to come to Him even when He was tired. He compared Himself to a good shepherd who notices one sheep missing from the flock and seeks it out in the dark. He compared His death to a kernel of wheat which falls to the ground and dies, but ultimately brings forth a great harvest.
He proclaimed that the very least people are the most precious in the sight of God. Small things are considered great in His kingdom! He demonstrated this to us by becoming one of us. “The Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many” (Matthew 20:28). To truly follow Him, I need to be prepared to put others’ needs ahead of my own, and to give myself in the service of others, treating each person I meet as I would like to be treated.
In his book, In Charge, Dr Myles Munroe writes, “Greatness in our materialistic world is defined as fame, popularity, scholastic or economic achievement and notoriety. Greatness may result from these qualities, but they are not the definition of greatness. Rather greatness comes from your service to the world. When you serve with your gifts, you become significant to humanity and people will describe you as ‘great’. In summary, greatness is significance. It comes from the value you add to others’ lives by serving them. Greatness isn’t about how many people are serving you, rather how many you are serving through your life.”
So What Makes You Great?
You are great when you are serving others. You are great when you are doing that less-appreciated job to fulfill the needs of your family. You are great when you are looking after a loved one who is unwell. You are great when you are making a difference in the lives of the underprivileged with your time and talents. You are great when you are encouraging a friend. You are great when you are letting your life make a dent in the universe with a positive force. You are great when you are cooking meals for your family. You are great when you are raising your kids. And you are great when you do small things with great love!