By Sarah Smith

It feels like closing a chapter and beginning a new one – a fresh start. Maybe it’s a pipe dream to think a turn of the calendar page can lead to something different and new. But there is something about January 1st that makes you want to hope for better things to come.

The usual thoughts of what I can do differently have been running through my head. The typical things, like exercising more, eating healthier… even little things, like staying on top of laundry (more basic goal than for some, but laundry and I don’t get along well)… and then, of course, the most exciting one ….  I’d like to change the world in some way, to help make people’s lives better, more hopeful, more joyous – to lead them to Christ.

But as I wish for great things, I am reminded of something my parents ingrained into me and my siblings when we were growing up:  If you want to do great, you have to be faithful in the little things. In the parable of the talents, the faithful servant was told “Because you have been faithful in a very little, you shall have authority over ten cities.” (Luke 19:17, emph. added)

Paul in Philippians 2:14-15 laid out a grand vision: “….that you may be blameless and innocent, children of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked and twisted generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world.” How?  Through these instructions: “Do all things without grumbling or questioning…”  A little thing, but very big in God’s kingdom!

And so while I have grand visions of what I’d like to do, I remind myself that I will only be as great as I am in the small: I will not change the world if I am complaining at my job, if I gossip about other people, if I am selfish in seeking my own comfort and not looking for ways to bless my husband and others God has put in my life, if I am not seeking after God or investing in relationships with others. It is the “little” sins and transgressions we allow in our lives that take away our ability to shine as lights in the world, to show the world to a path of following and serving Christ.

A revolution this year sounds great, but I know it will require me to be faithful in doing the tiny things that others may or may not see. But God sees, and He will use and grow each act of obedience and faithfulness for greatness in His kingdom.

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