Just ask the boy who shared his lunch with Jesus….
The greatest impact you make may be the result of the smallest action you take.
The New York City crime rate famously dropped by an astonishing two-thirds after Mayor Rudy Giuliani and his police commissioner implemented a neighborhood quality plan. They cover up the graffiti as quickly as it goes up, they fix windows as quickly as they break, they replace street lights as quickly as they go out. The theory is that when people see that people in power care about the smallest things, they will assume that they care about the big things. Part of the signal that criminals are looking for, without necessarily even realizing it, is the signal that says This is a place where the people in power aren’t paying much attention. I can commit my crime here and get away with it. Criminals have shied away from the areas where this theory has been implemented, and the crime rate has plummeted.
Little things make a big difference. A little effort brings about big results. A warm response to someone who comes to my door can end up shaping that person’s life for eternity. My willingness to invest a couple hours a week in some supposedly insignificant ministry effort can change forever the life of someone touched by that ministry. Dedicating myself to responding with Christlike compassion to someone (who just basically annoys the living daylights out of me) can give that person a taste of God’s love unlike anything they’ve ever experienced; and that experience can change not only them, but me, in a way I never imagined.
In Matthew 13:31,32, Jesus said, Don’t get hung up on big, high-profile ministries. God’s real work in the world is in the little things. Here’s how he put it:
“The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed, which a man took and planted in his field. Though it is the smallest of all your seeds, yet when it grows, it is the largest of garden plants and becomes a tree, so that the birds of the air come and perch in its branches.”
It doesn’t take a huge effort. A small effort makes a big difference. The smallest gift, given in Christ’s name, makes a huge impact for the Kingdom. Not just in others. But in me.
If we can catch this vision for what Jesus wants to do in us, it will revolutionize our lives and ministries. If we can honestly say to God, “Hey, whether it’s big or small, glamorous or plain, I want to be involved however you want me involved — I am sold out to you” — our “misery index” will go way, way down. And our “joy index” will go up!
My Prayer for the Next Seven Days… God, I want to serve brilliantly wherever you put me. Help me not to judge the impact I would expect from my effort, but simply to give my all to the task you have placed before me to accomplish. Amen.
1 Corinthians 1:27
But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong.