Are you paying attention to the details?
“Little Things Mean a Lot” was a very popular hit song that made it to the number one spot on the charts in the USA and the UK in 1954. Subsequently, many other recording artists have released their versions of this song. While it has nice lyrics and a lovely tune, the title says it all. In life, we often look for the big events or the very significant occurrences that make a big splash or great impact. And yet, it is the little things that we do daily that cement and enhance relationships both physically and spiritually. The little kindnesses, the thoughtful acts, the courtesies and consideration shown to others without expecting anything in return reveal people’s true character and their love of others.
It is the same in spiritual matters as well. In the Bible we find detailed instructions for living, all of which are very important. It is very plain that our Heavenly Father expects us to be faithful in little things as well as the “weightier matters” found in Scripture. Being careful to do the little things demonstrates to Him that we really do “fear” Him, meaning to have deep respect and awe for His Way of life.
The Bible gives a number of examples of the importance of obeying God even in the little things. One example is the story of Uzza in 1 Chronicles 13:7–10. As the Israelites were transporting the Ark of the Covenant, a very important symbol of the nation’s relationship with God, the oxen pulling the cart carrying the Ark stumbled. Instinctively, Uzza reached out to steady the Ark to prevent it from shifting or falling. He was instantly struck dead by God. While this may seem cruel to us today, God had given detailed, specific instructions on how to transport this important symbol. Uzza knew this and did not follow the instructions, which cost him his life.
Happily, Uzza will have the opportunity to repent and live out his life obeying God in the resurrection. There are many other less traumatic examples of the importance of little things in Scripture. A very illustrative one is found in Mark 12:42–44, “Then one poor widow came and threw in two mites, which make a quadrans. So He called His disciples to Himself and said to them, ‘Assuredly, I say to you that this poor widow has put in more than all those who have given to the treasury; for they all put in out of their abundance, but she out of her poverty put in all that she had, her whole livelihood.’”
Notice that Jesus did not tell His disciples to take the two mites, a very small amount of money, and give it back to the poor widow. That would have been an insult to her, when, in fact, her little offering was the basis for a great lesson for all of us. In our lives, there are little things that need to be monitored and controlled. James, the half-brother of Jesus, wrote in his book of the New Testament, “Even so the tongue is a little member and boasts great things. See how great a forest a little fire kindles! And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity.… But no man can tame the tongue” (James 3:2–8).
With God’s help one can tame the tongue, but it requires constant vigilance to accomplish. Is it important for us to be diligent in following God’s instructions in our daily lives? The example of Uzza shows that it can be a very serious matter. Also, the wonderful example of the widow who was devoted to God and His Work with her meager offering shows that little things are noticed by God. In fact Jesus made a promise based on this premise when He said in Luke 19:17: “Well done, good servant: because you were faithful in a very little, have authority over ten cities.” As you live your life each day, remember that—physically and spiritually—little things mean a lot!