"Don't sweat the small stuff – and it's all small stuff." So goes the popular saying. We look for a way to avoid stress and to avoid the consequences of our actions. Yet, when it comes down to it, we are ultimately responsible for our actions – and everything counts.
Good habits and basic virtues do pay big dividends over time, while foolish pursuits and get-rich-quick schemes seldom bear good results. There are some positive examples in modern times and there are definitely some ancient characters that we can emulate.
Some of our national heroes – like George Washington, Benjamin Franklin and later Abraham Lincoln – rose from obscurity to become known as men of character and renown. Later, Theodore Roosevelt, a sickly child, overcame physical weakness, and by sheer drive, perseverance and courage accomplished great things
Anciently, Abram, who became Abraham, was a tremendous example of perseverance, self-control and obedience. The result? "Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness. And he was called the friend of God." (James 2:23).
Down the line, Jacob, who became Israel, and Joseph his son enjoyed God's intervention in their lives for special purposes. In every case, the special relationship of these men with God was predicated upon their obedience to their Creator. Nothing has changed. God still requires His people to be careful to obey His laws and to do His will.
Solomon, King David's son, wrote extensively on this subject, and it is recorded for us. He wrapped up the book of Ecclesiastes with these words, "Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God and keep His commandments, for this is man's all. For God will bring every work into judgment, including every secret thing, whether good or evil" (Ecclesiastes 12:13-14).
In the New Testament Jesus said, "But I say to you that for every idle word men may speak, they will give account of it in the Day of Judgment. For by your words you will be justified and by your words you will be condemned" (Matthew 12:36-37).
So we see that what we say and what we do, even in small things, is very important in this life and in the life to come. The principle is found in a parable praising the faithful servant. Jesus said, "Well done, good and faithful servant; you have been faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things" (Matthew 25:23).
How about each of us? Does it really matter what we do as we live our daily lives? The Bible makes it very plain. Over and over the book of Revelation refers to those who "overcome". It culminates with these words: "He who overcomes shall inherit all things, and I will be his God and he shall be My son" (Revelation 21:7).
As you consider your daily walk, in things public and private, just remember, "everything counts!"
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