Every Good Gift

Sometimes the greatest blessings come in small moments.

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Posted in , Feb 15, 2013

Mary Lou Carney

Bigger is better. That’s the philosophy permeating our society. We supersize our meals, upgrade our hotel rooms, drive hundreds of miles to get to the biggest and best resorts. We look with awe—and maybe envy—at the lifestyles of the rich and famous. But the Bible has another perspective on all this. In Luke 12:15, Jesus warns, “Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; life does not consist in an abundance of possessions.”

Perhaps an even more dangerous aspect of this “bigger is better” thinking is that we often forget to appreciate the small things, to notice the ordinary blessings that make up our daily lives. Bread rising and babies laughing. An unexpected email from an old friend. The cardinal outside your window, a scarlet exclamation point in a drab winter landscape. When I was a child, we sang a hymn that proclaimed, “Little is much when God is in it.” That was a great comfort to me because my white wooden church was small, I knew whatever I could do for God was small and, well, I was small!

Life is made up of moments, not events. If we save our awe and excitement only for the grand times, we’ll end up wasting a lot of chances to say, “WOW!” And to say, “Thanks, God.” After all, “every good gift is from above, coming down from the Father” (James 1:17). Every good gift, not just the over-the-top amazing ones.

But there are some behaviors it’s good to go big with. The Apostle Paul lays them out for us in 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18:

• “Rejoice always…” Joy is the one thing you can’t have too much of. And it’s a renewable resource—the more you give away, the more you have!

• “Pray continually…” Staying in constant touch with God will help keep you on the right path when it comes to over-valuing material things.

• “Give thanks in all circumstances…” An attitude of gratitude will smooth many difficult roads in your life. It will enable you to appreciate the small things that, ultimately, turn out to be the big things. And when you can’t understand why things are happening the way they are, continue to praise—and trust the outcome to God.

So go out and do something small today. Some little kindness or subtle gesture. Give away some seemingly inconsequential compliments. Magnify instead of supersize your life. And get ready to feel good…in a big way.

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