The Little Things
There are “Little Things” mentioned in the Bible that we are admonished to be aware of, because these little things can cause great damage.
“Take us the foxes, the little foxes, that spoil the vines: for our vines have tender grapes.” Song of Solomon 2:15
Foxes in that area were known and prevalent. It was known what kind of damage they could do. See Judges 15:4-5, Ezekiel 13:4, Nehemiah 4:3, and Luke 13:32. These animals were nocturnal and burrowed quietly under the vines plundering the grapes.
This verse firstly applies to a relationship, a new blossoming love. The bride asks the groom to take care of the little foxes that eat from below and eventually spoil the vine. The verse says the grapes are tender. The grapes are new, as in a newly blossoming relationship. If small things aren’t taken care of in the beginning that can spoil and destroy, their impact will be felt later on. Sometimes we see things that might bother us that we decide to ‘overlook’. It’s important to be aware of any little thing that can pose potential damage to a relationship.
Little foxes can also apply to any thing we allow in our life that is contrary to what God expects and asks of us. We have to be careful of those ‘little things’ we allow that are contrary to God and His nature.
“Even so the tongue is a little member, and boasteth great things. Behold, how great a matter a little fire kindleth!” James 3:5 (read the whole of chapter 3)
There’s a common phrase today, “I’m just sayin'”. Well, I’m just sayin’ we have to be very, very careful about what we say. I don’t particularly like jesting. Joking that to some may seem harmless but to others hurtful. It’s not funny if everyone isn’t laughing. We should guard ourselves as well from gossip. It is oftentimes mentioned in the Bible as a great evil. Also, we can’t be two-sided in that ‘blessings and cursings’ come out of our mouth. Have you heard the phrase, ‘he talks out of both sides of his mouth”? And here’s another one my grandmother said often, ‘What’s down in the well comes up in the bucket’. Be very aware of what we put in our buckets. That is what we put in our minds, allow our eyes to see, and what we put in our hearts. This things will eventually come out.
We need to make sure we use our tongue wisely. “This wisdom descendeth not from above, but is earthly, sensual, devilish. For where envying and strife is, there is confusion and every evil work. But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be intreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy. And the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace of them that make peace.” James 3:15-18
If you need help with taming your tongue. You know where you can go. “If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.” James 1:5
“Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which to day is, and to morrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith? Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed?” Matthew 6:30-31
This little faith is associated with worry and with dwelling on things that are out of our control. Things that happen to us, things we need don’t exceed what God graciously provides to us each day.
The disciples were in the boat with Jesus, who was peacefully resting. Then came a tremendous storm that frightened them. They woke Jesus who replied, ‘And he saith unto them, Why are ye fearful, O ye of little faith? Then he arose, and rebuked the winds and the sea; and there was a great calm.” Matthew 8:26
“And Jesus said unto them, Because of your unbelief: for verily I say unto you, If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you.” Matthew 17:20
There is also the mention of little faith and the mustard seed. “Then Jesus answered and said, O faithless and perverse generation, how long shall I be with you? how long shall I suffer you? bring him hither to me. And Jesus rebuked the devil; and he departed out of him: and the child was cured from that very hour. Then came the disciples to Jesus apart, and said, Why could not we cast him out? And Jesus said unto them, Because of your unbelief: for verily I say unto you, If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you.” Matthew 17:17-20 Faith to believe and to accomplish things for God can be as small as a mustard seed. So, then, what does little faith really mean? Unbelief. Do we really believe God can do anything or God has our best interest at heart and knows best? I ‘believe’ that’s what little faith ultimately means.
“A little leaven leaveneth the whole lump.” Galatians 5:9
Leaven in the Bible represents sin. If we allow a little sin in our lives it eventually affects the whole of us. It only takes a small amount of leaven to completely change the makeup of the dough. A little sin in our lives can have a bigger impact in our lives than we understand. A little leaven can cause other things to be in our lives that can be destructive. We have to be on guard at all times. It’s just not worth it.
“Master, which is the great commandment in the law? Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.” Matthew 22:36-40
Jesus summarized the whole of our responsibility on this earth. First of all to love God.
“And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this [is] the first commandment.” Mark 12:30
We are to love God with all that we are. When we fully understand just how much God loves us, just how much He desires a relationship with us, we can be filled with such awe and joy that complete love can become natural. We have to guard, however, those ‘little things‘ we allow to become more important to us in our lives. In the end, there’s nothing more important than to nurture and to guard our love for God.
The second was to love others.
If we love others before we love ourselves, we will put their needs before ours. We won’t selfishly strive for what we believe to be what’s due to us. Our concern will be for the other’s welfare above ours.
“Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves. Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others.” Philippians 2:3-4
We will come into situations when someone is attempting to do us harm. Do we strike back. There are many cases where God tells us not to. We need to see truly the big picture in that the most important thing is not that act, that moment, that word or event. What’s most important is eternity and our impact on other’s lives. We are to love others as God does. We are to forgive and to be kind toward others hoping that some day they too will come to understand that in light of eternity, there are more important things to strive for and against.
There are a few more ‘little things’ we need to be aware of mentioned in the Bible, slothfulness-a little laziness (Proverbs 18:9, 13:4, 6:6-11); a little foolishness (folly) (Jeremiah 4:22, Jeremiah 10:21, 1 Corinthians 3:19, Romans 1:22); little thankfulness (I Thessalonians 5:16, II Thessalonians 1:3, Philippians 4:6-7, I Chronicles 16:34, Colossians 3:15) We are to be thankful always, in all things.
Don’t let those little things get you in your life. Always be on guard and recognize them for what they are. They steal from your joy, your peace and your relationship with God and with others.