Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers.
When a church called the Vineyard Community Church in Cincinnati moved from a small, cramped building into a massive new auditorium, there were lots of discussions – a few bordering on disagreement – about parking, kids’ facilities, seating, etc. The one thing that was universally understood, however, was what would be emblazoned on the outside of the building, because it would be a unifying mission. Huge letters engraved into the structure read, “Small things done with great love will change the world.” This phrase, often attributed to Mother Teresa, sums up the church’s philosophy toward the community. A staff member’s title, even, was “director of small things”! He was to find everyday opportunities for the church’s thousands of attendees to reach out to others in kindness.
The benefits paid off. Many of those beneficiaries of their kindness were drawn into a relationship with God, because God’s volunteers became missionaries of His grace.
In addition to the “small things” mantra was another phrase: “When we serve, we get a little better.” Everyone comes to God with their own hurts and hang-ups, but in meeting others’ needs, people take their eyes off their own problems and actually learn to cope in ways they never could if they only focused on themselves. There is an answer here to some of today’s societal ills like boredom, lethargy, anxiety, substance abuse, and even disordered eating. Many problems come from focusing on oneself, a form of self-indulgence, instead of going out into the world to help others.
Sweet Freedom in Action
Note: The author of this article has included commentary that expresses an opinion and analysis of the facts.