In Others’ Words: Small Things

“Be faithful in the small things, because it is in them that your strength lies.” ~Mother Teresa, founder of Missionaries of Charity in Calcutta

Such a simple quote. All of fifteen words. And then, the question: What are the small things?

If you’re going to be faithful, if these things are your strength … what are these oh-so-vital small things?

When I asked my husband, Rob, what he thought of this quote he compared it to another oft-quoted phrase: If you’re trustworthy with little, you’ll be trustworthy with a lot. (My paraphrase of my husband’s words.)

That’s another way to turn this quote … another view of the truth hidden in these words.

Maybe strength lies in learning to be trustworthy, to be faithful, in the seemingly unimportant, nobody will notice you kind of tasks. Because by so doing you become a trustworthy person. A faithful person.

Imagine that.

Doing little leads to so very much.

Like your character. Your strength.

Or your lack of it.

In Your Words: What are the “small things” for you? Those things–choices, decisions, actions–that made you who you are today?

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16 Comments

  1. October 10, 2011, 5:50 am   /  Reply

    Or, if we have faith even as small as a mustard seed (tiny grain size) we can move mountains. Or a goofy one–“Remember, even the mighty oak grows from a little nut like you and me.”

    • Beth Vogt
      October 10, 2011, 7:42 am   /  Reply

      Dee,
      So many different ways to approach the same truth …

  2. October 10, 2011, 6:15 am   /  Reply

    I’m a soccer coach and it’s been really obvious the other teams are amping up the aggression and their coaches are not quick to step in (when in later stages some of what the players are doing would receive yellow and red cards). I’m trying to implement teaching moments for my girls and I’m often challenged not to lose my cool.
    ~ Wendy

    • Beth Vogt
      October 10, 2011, 7:46 am   /  Reply

      Wendy,
      Coaching–tough, tough job. You’re trying to influence and train the players–and yes, you want to win. But sometimes you have to choose between winning the game (short term) or making the right choice as it relates to character–your’s or a player’s (long term).

  3. October 10, 2011, 8:07 am   /  Reply

    This post was very encouraging to me today. When the “big” things don’t seem to be happening and you want to quit, your post is a reminder to keep faithful doing the small things.

    • Beth Vogt
      October 10, 2011, 8:49 am   /  Reply

      I hadn’t thought of it that way, Scoti. But it’s true. The little things do add up to the big things, don’t they?

  4. October 10, 2011, 8:44 am   /  Reply

    This post really made me think. Well, all of yours do! But it really turned my thinking on its head…because you’re right, faithfulness, honesty in the small things adds up to integrity which plays out in the big things…which makes those small things, well, big.

    A “small thing” I’m working on is simply having a grateful attitude for some aspects of my day-job I’m not really digging at the moment. Because I know that whole “attitude of gratitude” thing needs to extend past the things it’s easy to be thankful for…

    • Beth Vogt
      October 10, 2011, 8:51 am   /  Reply

      Melissa,
      I post quotes that make me think too!
      ;o)
      And gratitude was my word one year–actually, the year I started focusing on just one word instead of a long list of resolutions–and it greatly changed my perspective.

  5. Jeanne
    October 10, 2011, 8:51 am   /  Reply

    Small things…..seems like there are many in the life of a stay-at-home wife and mom. Caring for our home and the kids’ needs sem like small things, which most of the time garner no notice from the kids. Serving in humility without expecting recognition could be a “small thing.”

    Small things are the decisions we make in seemingly insignificant moments which later define an aspect of who we are. What do I do when no one is looking? Those small things lead to a life of integrity or of compromise, depening on my choices.

    • Beth Vogt
      October 10, 2011, 9:09 am   /  Reply

      “What do I do when no one is looking?”
      Good question, Jeanne.
      Good question.

  6. October 10, 2011, 10:14 am   /  Reply

    Not small things, but small people for me. Parents entrust me with their most prized treasures. The Little Darlings in my care teach me so much about the small things–a tiny flower in a grass of green, a caterpillar crawling along the edge of the step, a leaf with beautiful colors, a crayon that looks like the color of peanut butter…I could go on. Caring for children comes with a mixed bag of emotions, but their innocence helps me to view life from their perspectives. There’s a lot of truth in small things, especially when viewed from a small person’s POV.

    • Beth Vogt
      October 10, 2011, 10:35 am   /  Reply

      Lisa,
      I like how you bring in the idea of viewing life from someone else’s perspective–and how their perspective can help us see what the “small things” are.

  7. October 10, 2011, 12:33 pm   /  Reply

    I’m a person who’s very much into the “small things” mindset. As a contracted author, I know I’m supposed to figure out how to market my book to the masses. However, that concept overwhelms me. I prefer to think of reaching one reader at a time and creating genuine interactions. Even though my approach might not be that different, my mindset makes all the difference to me.

    • Beth Vogt
      October 10, 2011, 2:30 pm   /  Reply

      Keli,
      Such a great mindset: one reader at a time.
      And a great way to approach life: one person, one need at a time.

  8. October 10, 2011, 3:03 pm   /  Reply

    Beth, this was an important topic for me today, and I’m really glad you posted on it. I’m involved in a situation in which I need to clear my head and focus on who I want to be, and disentangle myself from those who are pulling me toward behavior I don’t admire.

    • Beth Vogt
      October 10, 2011, 3:22 pm   /  Reply

      You know, Rosslyn, it was an important topic for me today, too.
      :O)
      For much the same reason.

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