Sweating the small stuff = faithfulness

By Dave Henning / December 24, 2020

“Faithfulness in the ordinary, everyday callings of life — ‘sweating the small stuff.’ so to speak — is the beginning of any great task and a virtue of any great person. . . .  we are called to be faithful in the smallest and largest of callings.  God sees us ‘sweating the small stuff,’ and He will work through us according to His will, for His purposes, and in His time.”- Rev. Jeffrey Leininger

“One who is faithful in a very little is also faithful in much, and one who is dishonest in a very little is also dishonest in much.”- Luke 16:10 (ESV)

As Rev. Jeffrey Leininger continues Chapter 3 of Callings for Life, he stresses our need to best understand our calling.  We need to find it in the ordinary rather than the dramatic.  Certainly, the author notes, the big stuff may come according to God’s plan and timing.  However, the small stuff will always surely be there.

Above all, Martin Luther put forth fresh insights regarding vocation.  Luther’s understanding of vocation located the work of God in the daily, humdrum, and routine aspects of regular life.  This represented the highest of callings.  Therefore, Rev. Leininger notes, Luther flipped the question away from ‘How dramatic, super-spiritual, and world-changing is this activity?’ to ‘Am I doing this in response to God’s love and in service to my neighbor?”

Thus, for Luther the standard of evaluation centered on what you do with what God’s given you.  Rather than what you do or accomplish.

Finally, Marc Kolden, writing in Christian’s Calling in the World, shares Luther’s belief that our calling begins in the ordinary.  Kolden states:

“Luther’s insight, that one serves God by doing the sort of works that our various places in life require of us, made love exceedingly concrete.  It took love out of the so-called spiritual areas and related it to service to one’s neighbor in what seemed very ordinary ways. . . .  Every Christian, from the least to the greatest, from the youngest to the oldest, could now be seen to have a divine calling.”

Today’s question: Do you find God working through you when you sweat the small stuff?  Please share.

Tomorrow’s blog: “Masks of God – people doing God’s work”

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Dave Henning

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