BIG May not be Better
Have you ever noticed how many people have "The Tower of Babel Complex?" Remember the tower of Babel? These people said, "Let us build us a city and a tower, whose top may reach unto heaven; and let us make us a name" (Gen. 11:4). Evidently they thought, "the bigger the better" or, the way to be really somebody is to do big things in big ways. Many people are of that same disposition. They are not anybody, in their estimation, unless they can "see their name up in lights," unless they have "the most" of whatever it is. Thus, the almost insatiable desire to "get to the top"--wherever that is.
In direct opposition to this, have you ever noticed how, according to the teaching of Jesus, greatness is not necessarily in doing the "big" things, but rather in the small things; and with Him and His people, the way up is the way down. This is just one of the many ways in which the kingdom of Christ is "not of this world," that is, its standard of greatness is not the same as the world's standard. Let's notice some of these.
1. Recognition: How many people in Germany or Russia, or France, or England have ever heard of you? Probably none, if you are like most of us. Is this of any consequence? No, for God assures us that if we are of those who belong to God, "ye are of more value than many sparrows" (Matt. 10:31) and although "two sparrows are sold for a farthing," not "one of them shall fall on the ground without your Father." If God is concerned about the little sparrows, surely he is concerned about his people. The people in France, Germany, or wherever may not have ever heard of us, but God has.
2. Prominence. There are not many who will read this bulletin whose deeds will be acclaimed by men. You won't get your name in the newspaper for some worthwhile activity. Chances are you will not be receiving any medals. Yet remember, Jesus said, "whosoever shall give to drink unto one of these little ones a cup of cold water only in the name of a disciple, verily I say unto you, he shall in no wise lose his reward" (Matt. 10:42). The world may never recognize you as a "hero", but God does even when you do a thing that little. Why then shou1d we be concerned so much about what the world thinks of us?
3. Big Men. No doubt you have observed how the world almost goes wi1d over the movie star or the TV personality. The autograph-seekers almost drive them mad. And I even heard of a middle-aged woman who was a member of the church trekking all the way to Memphis when Elvis died. (I wonder if the same would be willing to go across town to visit a neighboring congregation engaged in a gospel meeting?). Yet God is not impressed with all that, nor does He want us to be. Listen: "Mind not high things, but condescend to men of low estate" Rom. 12: 16. Perhaps it is especially appropriate that the next words are "Be not wise in your own conceits". But does this not at the same time tell us the very ones whom we should honor? What if Elvis, or whoever, "plays to audiences of thousands?" God takes no favorable recognition of such. He is concerned about people who do His will, and those who do are "precious in his sight", no matter how insignificant they may seem to be.