Look what one look at a woman bathing on her rooftop cost a man, his home, and his country. The pronunciation of one word spelled the difference between life and death for a nation of people. One word inserted by a serpent changed the course of human history forever.
One visit to a website, one indiscreet email or phone call, one moment of anger and fury, one rash and foolish decision made before a new Christian, or one “white lie” can create unbearable consequences to the heart, destiny, and influence of a person. Rationalization that it’s only once or only a little can be fatal, both to self and others.
But this “little thing” principle applies to attitude, too. A brief, gossiping conversation may seem harmless, but discourage or devastate the subject of it. Small, snide comments about the elders, Bible class teachers, deacons, or others may divide friends for a long time. A grudge-bearer may help divide a church over a single, relatively minor incident having long since occurred. “Little,” too often, is in the eye of the beholder.
A dear preacher friend of mine, David Sain, once illustrated this point very well. He wrote:
I once read a statement that really got my attention. It declared that a
tiny gnat can wreck an automobile. Of course, I wondered, “How?”
The article then explained that a tiny gnat had wrecked a car by flying
into the eye of the driver at a critical time, causing him to lose control.
So often in life, little things can do great harm. It is easy for us to be
like that gnat. Our petty criticisms, murmuring, complaints, and fault-
finding can “wreck” the most ambitious person or program. Friend,
what our world needs is builders-not “wreckers.” (via Eastern Meadows Church
Bulletin, Montgomery, AL).
Let’s be careful with our influence, not minimizing our impact on others by our words, acts, and attitudes. We want to do the little things that make a church great, through those same mediums. As David says, let us build rather than wreck!