A Year of Smiles – Day 124

Reason to SMILE #124: THE BIG PICTURE


“I’m not going to speak at that church unless he says that it’s preaching!”

These are the words I heard a female seminary student say after being asked to speak at another student’s church.

“She can come speak but I’m not going to call it preaching.”

And these are the words of the male seminary student who gave the invitation to speak to the female student.

The female student felt a call from God on her life to preach. The male student firmly believed women were forbidden by God to preach. They were at odds with each other and neither would back down from their positions….

I just wanted to smack them both.  I couldn’t understand the problem.  I wanted to sit them both down and tell them to get over themselves.  Obviously, the guy valued the communication skills of his friend and trusted that she would bring a prayerfully guided and biblically sound message to his church.  (That sure sounds like preaching to me.)  On the other hand, if the young lady truly believed God wanted to speak through her, why turn down an opportunity to share His message just because it wasn’t called “preaching”?

It’s easy to get caught up in the things that really don’t matter.  We often think we’re standing on our principles and defending what is right. We plant our feet firmly and close our ears to any opposing opinions.  We are right and that’s all we need (or want) to know.  If only we’d take just a few steps back from the situation, we might see that in the grand scheme of things, our “important matter” is pretty insignificant.

Focusing on the big picture is challenging.  The devil likes to preoccupy our time with the little things and when we take his bait, we end up missing great opportunities for growth, for progress, for peace and for SMILES.  There’s little time for joy when you’re constantly fighting battles.

The next time you find yourself preparing for battle – worrying with an issue at work, proving a point to your opposition, ensuring that you get your way – ask yourself if it’s worth it.  Is it worth your peace of mind?  Is it going to help or hurt in the long run?  Is it worth the time that could be spent on something of greater importance?  If not, move on, fix your gaze on the big picture and SMILE.

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