Little Things Birth Large Opportunities (December 2023)

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The reason most people can’t see the big picture. . .is because they’re worrying about little things … that don’t really matter.

Erma Bombeck, the author and humorist, once said:

“Worry is like a rocking chair; it gives you something to do but never gets you anywhere.”

Now don’t get me wrong. . .attention to the details is important but worrying about them is not.  In fact, it’s counter-productive and detrimental to the achievement of your goals.

Dwight L. Moody, the famed evangelist, once said:

“There are many of us that are willing to do great things for the Lord, but few of us are willing to do the little things.”

Little things are not to be ignored or improperly handled. . .lest they become big things.

As Christians. . .it’s important to discern what’s important so little things don’t wipe us out. . .emotionally, physically and spiritually.

The question becomes. . .is God concerned about the little things in our lives?

Luke 12:7in the Classic Amplified Bible says:

“Indeed the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Do not be afraid; you are far more valuable than many sparrows.”

God pays attention to the details and so should we. . .never allowing the little things to become big things.

Here are the seven ways to deal with the little things.

# 1     Understand and control your aggravation scale.

Malcolm Forbes, an American entrepreneur and publisher of Forbes magazine, once said:

“If you have a job without aggravations, you don’t have a job.”

The vast majority of people will quit projects and sometimes jobs. . .not because of a major problem but they can’t handle the small stuff especially in this age of entitlement.

Some couples end in divorce court not because of adultery, financial foolishness or mental and physical abuse. . .but rather small aggravations that just get under their skin.

When times are good. . .money is not a problem. . .many of the small aggravations don’t matter but when times get tough. . finances are tight. . .and emotions are stressed over your children or family. . .it becomes a different story.

Minor aggravations become huge in the eyes of the offended spouse.

Ecclesiastes 2:15 in the New Kings James Version says:

Catch us the foxes, The little foxes that spoil the vines, For our vineshavetender grapes.”

It’s interesting that this poetic and prophetic passage of scripture is also referring to a marriage relationship.  Implying the grape vines are tender … or the couple is still getting to know each other and are not on firm footing yet.  And the hindrances (or foxes) that come between couples have not been dealt with and must be addressed so the couple’s love can mature to fruition.

The key to a successful marriage is not allowing things to fester or get to a stage where a spouse’s frustration. . .turns to aggravation which then births anger, resentment and a decision to put the marriage in the rearview mirror.

Dealing with small aggravations whether in the job, at home or in church will prepare us for even greater opportunities.

1 Corinthians 6:2 in the Contemporary English Version says:

“Don't you know that God's people will judge the world? And if you are going to judge the world, can't you settle small problems?”

If you’re involved in sales. . .or the service industry. . .you learn fast to control your aggravation.. . .with customers or clients who sometimes act like they’re a hamburger short of a happy meal.

Learning to deal with aggravation. . .will prepare you for even greater opportunities.

Mike Ditka, who won a Super Bowl as coach of the Chicago Bears, said:

“What you feel spiritually. I think a lot of that has to do with it. If you have no spiritual life, chances are everything is going to aggravate you, you're going to fly off the handle at everything and that's what I did in the past. I've kind of got that under control now.”

More properly said. . .we must allow God to help us keep our aggravation under control.

# 2     Be Willing To Stretch.

Acts 4:30 in the New Living Translation says:

“Stretch out your hand with healing power; may miraculous signs and wonders be done through the name of your holy servant Jesus.”

Anyone who has ever exercised knows the importance of stretching before you exercise.  A failure to stretch can result in pulled muscles or other ailments which will impede your workout regimen.

A failure to stretch mentally. . .can leave people with rigor mortis of the mind. 

God wants each of us to stretch our faith today and, for that matter, every day that follows.

Consider the following when it comes to the ways God may want to stretch you:

Chances are that today. . .

God wants us to THINK about doing something we’ve never done before.  He wants us to DO something.

God wants to GIVE us something.

God wants us to SAY something or NOT SAY anything at all.

God wants us to SELL something or BUY something.

God wants us to START something or, maybe, STOP doing something.

And, yes, God wants us to LOVE someone or, more properly, look at everyone with LOVE.

Every day. . .God wants us to do something that will stretch us as we move out of our comfort zone.

When it comes to your spiritual fitness, don’t forget to stretch!

If you’ve been asked to do something you’ve never done before or you have no available information on how to do it. . .just accept the challenge. . .and ask God to direct you in what you should do to be victorious in your endeavor.

“I’ve never done that before” is one of the greatest impediments to success. . .yours or anyone else’s.

If you’ve ever taken a new rubber band and stretched it for even a few seconds. . .you know that it will never go back to its original size.

When we’re stretched. . .we move outside our comfort zone. . .with information that will serve us well.

Four times Jesus says “stretch forth thy hand.”  In each instance, it was for someone to receive their healing.  When we stretch our hands to the Lord. . .we will receive our miracle as well.

We choose whether or not to stretch ourselves in the different area of our lives.

Arthur Conan Doyle, the creator of Sherlock Holmes, once said:

“I consider that a man's brain originally is like a little empty attic, and you have to stock it with such furniture as you choose.”

# 3     Ride The Emotional Flow Of Your Life.

I love reading success stories of people who overcame amazing odds to excel because they believed and never gave up.

Some years ago, my fine wife Bev and I got to meet George Foreman.  Without  question. . .George Foreman regaining the heavyweight boxing championship at the age of 45 was an amazing feat.

Foreman was more than a decade past his prime as a boxer when he knocked out his opponent, Michael Moore, and regained the championship.

As a result of his comeback Foreman made more from advertisers than he ever did as a boxer.  One advertiser in describing why he wanted Foreman to promote his products said:

“George Foreman has become the hero of every old, fat and bald person in this country.”

Through determination. . .Foreman regained his titled and got into a huge blessing flow against all odds and the naysayers.

Many of you may have been through adversity. . .and the enemy thought you were out for the count (to use a boxing term) but you’re not.

With your faith in the Word of God. . .you’re on your way.

Before moving on. . .I want to share three other quotes by George Forman.

First, the Champ said:

“I get up in the morning looking for an adventure.”

Second, Forman said:

“The question isn’t at what age I want to retire, it’s at what income.”

Finally, George Forman said:

“That's my gift. I let that negativity roll off me like water off a duck's back. If it's not positive, I didn't hear it. If you can overcome that, fights are easy.”

I’m reading Forman’s book “Knockout Entrepreneur” but I guess you can tell that.

Mark 11:23 in The Living Bible says:

“In reply Jesus said to the disciples, “If you only have faith in God—this is the absolute truth—you can say to this Mount of Olives, ‘Rise up and fall into the Mediterranean,’ and your command will be obeyed. All that’s required is that you really believe and have no doubt!”

# 4     Declare War on Personal Weakness.

Everybody drawing breath on planet earth has personal weaknesses.  If you think you don’t have one. . .then that’s your weakness. . .arrogance and pride.

The Bible backs this up with numerous scriptures:

Romans 8:26 in the Classic Amplified Version says in part:

So too the [Holy] Spirit comes to our aid and bears us up in our weakness;…”

Trusting God …listening to the Holy Spirit He sent to us … is our strength. 

On the other side of the coin… personal weaknesses. . .when left to its own devices will cloud your vision, drain you of your strength and cause you to lose your focus.

If you were to ask me to identify. . .one scripture for you to confess, memorize, personalize and act on. . .it would be Philippians 4:13 in the English Standard Version which says:

“I can do all things through him who strengthens me.”

Years ago, Jack Welch, the one-time CEO of General Electric, offered six rules for success.  I believe these rules will help each of us overcome any weakness we may face.

First, control your destiny or someone else will.

Second, face reality as it is…not as it was, and not as you wish it were.

Third, be candid, up-front and totally honest with everyone.

Fourth, don’t manage people.  Lead them by example.

Fifth, change before you’re forced to by some outside source.  In other words, change your diet. . .before the heart attack.

Sixth, If you don’t have a competitive advantage, don’t compete.  Either get a competitive advantage or get out of the game.

These six principles will attack our personal weaknesses and strengthen us for the game of life and fulfilling our destiny.

But the best principle of all is found in 2 Corinthians 12:9 in the Amplified Bible:

“But He has said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you [My lovingkindness and My mercy are more than enough—always available—regardless of the situation]; for [My] power is being perfected [and is completed and shows itself most effectively] in [your] weakness.” Therefore, I will all the more gladly boast in my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ [may completely enfold me and] may dwell in me.”

# 5     Leaving Unsaid What Needs To Be Said.

Proverbs 21:23 says:

“Whoever guards his mouth and tongue keeps his soul from troubles.”

At one time or another we’ve all had to “bite our tongues” or if we didn’t. . .we should have.  Sometimes it’s just not worth letting what pops into our minds slip out of our mouths.

Sir Winston Churchill said:

“We are masters of the unsaid words, but slaves of those we let slip out.”

But there are times. . .when we need to peacefully and scripturally deal with issues that arise.  Hoping the problem will go away. . .won’t make it happen.

Harriet Beecher Stowe, the author of Uncle Tom’s Cabin, said:

“The bitterest tears shed over graves are for words left unsaid and deeds left undone.”

If something needs to be said. . .if correction is required. . .there is a right way and a wrong way to do it.

When you speak the Word. . .you have to know the words coming out of your mouth will not be lost, wasted, empty or without success.

The spoken Word cannot be stopped, changed, deleted, erased, short-circuited or come back empty handed.  Not only that. . .the Word has the ability to make something out of nothing.

# 6     Dealing with what you’d rather not.

Don’t procrastinate.   Sometimes we have a tendency to postpone doing the things that are the most difficult or unpleasant.  Don’t.

Luke 9:62 in the Message Bible says:

“Jesus said, “No procrastination. No backward looks. You can’t put God’s kingdom off till tomorrow. Seize the day.”

Seize the day and complete what you started. . .without further delay.

Hebrews 13:21 in the Amplified Bible says:

“Strengthen (complete, perfect) and make you what you ought to be and equip you with everything good that you may carry out His will; [while He Himself] works in you and accomplishes that which is pleasing in His sight, through Jesus Christ (the Messiah); to Whom be the glory forever and ever (to the ages of the ages). Amen (so be it).”

If for some reason you don’t know how to deal with a situation. . .just ask the Holy Spirit.

Psalm 32:8 in the English Standard Version (ESV) says:

“I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with my eye upon you.”

Ezra 10:4 in God’s WORD Translation says:

“Get up! It’s your duty to take action. We are with you, so be strong and take action.”

No need to procrastinate. . .we have the ultimate supernatural hero working with and for us.

# 7     Keep Your Promises.

If you make a promise to someone or to God. . .remember. . .it’s better for us to not make promises than a promise that we will break.

Psalm 50:14 in the Contemporary English Version which says:

“I am God Most High! The only sacrifice I want is for you to be thankful and to keep your word.”

If you make a promise. . .keep it.  Before making a promise. . .determine if you can keep it.  If not, don’t make it.

Numbers 32:23 in the New Living Translation says:

“But if you fail to keep your word, then you will have sinned against the Lord, and you may be sure that your sin will find you out.”

I was taught as a child to always keep my word as it was a reflection on who I was and whether or not people would believe they could depend on me and the things I said.

Proverbs 11:3 in the Amplified Bible says:

“The integrity and moral courage of the upright will guide them,

But the crookedness of the treacherous will destroy them.”

Numbers 30:2 in the Contemporary English Version says:

“When one of you men makes a promise to the LORD, you must keep your word.”

Here’s a good rule of thumb. . .never do less than you promised and always strive to deliver more than you promised you would.