Doing the Small Things

By Melissa McLaughlin

Doing the Small Thing

The weekend was a blur. Hours flew by with fun-filled family visits, joyful birthday dinners, board games at the table, and life’s myriad details scattered in between.

As my husband and I drove home from our last family event, I mentioned in passing that I ran out of time for writing this week. The conversation floated along. We chatted about weekend memories and upcoming dinner plans. After arriving home, we enjoyed a quiet meal together.

While cleaning up the table, I glanced over at a pile of laundry waiting to be folded.

My husband noticed my gaze and offered, “I’ll fold the laundry so you can write.”

Such a small gesture. Such a simple suggestion. Yet the weight of love behind that quiet sentence filled my heart.

I wondered how I might say in return, “I’ll fold the laundry so you can _________.”

My husband chose to do the small thing with a big impact. Not that my writing reaches audiences far and wide, but that his love filled my heart far and wide.

Further, his humble act of service caused me to remember people in the Bible who chose the lower seat or accepted the lesser assignment.

One powerful example is Stephen.

Stephen- God’s Servant Leader

In Acts 6:1, the disciples were asked to distribute food more equitably among Christian widows with various backgrounds.

This disciples’ response sounded reasonable.

Acts 6:2-3 – So the Twelve gathered all the disciples together and said, “It would not be right for us to neglect the ministry of the word of God in order to wait on tables. Brothers and sisters, choose seven men from among you who are known to be full of the Spirit and wisdom. We will turn this responsibility over to them and will give our attention to prayer and the ministry of the word.”

Stephen was chosen for food distribution to widows, along with several other Spirit-filled followers.

Despite Stephen’s seemingly menial assignment and position, God quickly employed Stephen in remarkable ways as the story continues in Acts 6.

Acts 6:6-15 – Now Stephen, a man full of God’s grace and power, performed great wonders and signs among the people. Opposition arose, however, from members of the Synagogue of the Freedmen (as it was called)—Jews of Cyrene and Alexandria as well as the provinces of Cilicia and Asia—who began to argue with Stephen. But they could not stand up against the wisdom the Spirit gave him as he spoke. Then they secretly persuaded some men to say, “We have heard Stephen speak blasphemous words against Moses and against God.” So they stirred up the people and the elders and the teachers of the law. They seized Stephen and brought him before the Sanhedrin. They produced false witnesses, who testified, “This fellow never stops speaking against this holy place and against the law. For we have heard him say that this Jesus of Nazareth will destroy this place and change the customs Moses handed down to us.” All who were sitting in the Sanhedrin looked intently at Stephen, and they saw that his face was like the face of an angel.

Stephen went on to preach a fiery sermon recorded in Acts 7. The response to Stephen’s sermon was similar to that which Christ received. Stephen’s heavenly vision and the forgiveness extended to his executioners revealed a divine touch from the LORD. Stephen’s reward was eternal.

God Uses Small Things

Much like the Sons of Korah who did not consider any task God requested “too small a thing,” so Stephen accepted his mundane job in the earthly realm. Consequently, God appointed Stephen to fulfill mighty purposes in the kingdom realm.

Have you been asked to do small things that elevate or assist others? Have you discovered joy in God’s presence even in the hidden places?

Doing the Small Things for God

May we keep our eyes open for the mundane, menial, unnoticed tasks God may ask of us. While I am writing, my husband is folding the laundry. This is beautiful in God’s eyes and mine.

God sees the small things.

God looks at the heart.

God loves the humble.

May God use us to uplift others in big ways and small.

James 4:6 – God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.

Matthew 19:13-14 – Then people brought little children to Jesus for him to place his hands on them and pray for them. But the disciples rebuked them. Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.”

Psalm 84:10 – Better is one day in your courts than a thousand elsewhere; I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God than dwell in the tents of the wicked.

Other posts you may enjoy:

Who were the Sons of Korah in the Bible? by Melissa McLaughlin

God Sees the Little Things by Melissa McLaughlin

His Eye is on the Sparrow by Melissa McLaughlin

15 thoughts on “Doing the Small Things”

  1. I love this, Melissa.
    The people who quietly and faithfully serve God daily without noise or fanfare have always been my heroes. I know God loves them too.

    Reply
  2. Love this SO much. You are absolutely right that the smallest things can make the biggest difference. May we all seek small ways and really ANY way to help each other out. We all serve the Lord in big ways and small.

    Reply
    • Amen and amen, Jessica! May we have humble hearts, willing to serve others in big ways AND small. The smallest act of kindness can carry us a long way. May we be the ones who are used by God to lift the burden from someone else. God bless you!

      Reply
  3. Such a simple, yet powerful gesture by your husband and Stephen is a great biblical example. The Bible describes the kingdom of God in this way: as humble people, not arrogant or proud, not demanding the spotlight–because the first will be last and the last will be first (Matthew 20:16). This is a beautiful reminder, Melissa. Thank you!

    Reply
    • Thank you for sharing your insights and that powerful Scripture, Karen!
      I think a small, humble gesture is remarkable to me, because God’s kingdom ways are the polar opposite of the world’s ways. May we stand out for Jesus with our humility and helpfulness in the little things. God bless you!

      Reply

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