26 “Therefore, don’t be afraid of those people because nothing is hidden that won’t be revealed, and nothing secret that won’t be brought out into the open. 27 What I say to you in the darkness, tell in the light; and what you hear whispered, announce from the rooftops. 28 Don’t be afraid of those who kill the body but can’t kill the soul. Instead, be afraid of the one who can destroy both body and soul in hell. 29 Aren’t two sparrows sold for a small coin? But not one of them will fall to the ground without your Father knowing about it already. 30 Even the hairs of your head are all counted. 31 Don’t be afraid. You are worth more than many sparrows (Matthew 10:25-31, Common English Bible).
While searching for freelance jobs on which to bid yesterday, I saw one that really interested me. I read all the qualifications closely. As I read, I realized I met every qualification so I clicked on the icon to bid on the job. The freelance agency’s website would not let me bid on the job! I didn’t understand. I wasn’t qualified? I read all the qualifications again and I met every one of them. What was going on?
I spent some time searching before I realized, one of the qualifications was for a person who was a “native English speaker.” I kept thinking, “I am a native English speaker.” I grew up speaking English. I still speak English. English is the only language I really speak if you discount sarcasm and pig Latin. The website said I was “fluent English speaker.” What is the difference?
According to Dictionary.com, a native speaker is one who has spoken a language since earliest childhood. A fluent speaker can express themselves easily and accurately. Would a native speaker not also be fluent?
I am still having trouble knowing the difference. For what I needed to do in order to have any possibility of landing that assignment. I needed to change my English skills from fluent to native in their system. If I failed to do that I would never be able to bid on this job.
It took a little time for me to figure out where in their system I had to go and what I needed to do to declare myself a “native speaker.” I was then able to complete my bid. No, I do not know yet if I got the job.
I was able to spend some time thinking about this. I thought, this difference is so small. What difference does it make. I know someone quite well who is not a native speaker. She speaks English better than I. The agency would consider her fluent because English is not her native language. She is also fluent in several other languages and a few Chinese dialects.
I was thinking, she speaks English really well but would not qualify for this position because she didn’t speak English as a young child. Then I remembered, there is one place she sometimes has a little (really, not much) trouble. She sometimes has difficulty remembering the exact word she needs to use to make things clear. It doesn’t happen often, so it is a little thing.
What that says to me is, at least to the agency I am working with, little things matter. While this particular little thing doesn’t really bother me, I have come to understand that little things make a big difference to God.
Jesus talks about mustard seeds and how that tiny seed can grow into a massive shrub. Our lesson today tells us that God knows us so well that God knows all of our little things. I do not know the number of hairs on my head (I do know there are not as many as there were this time a year ago). God knows.
God knows the number of hairs on my head. To carry that idea a step further, God knows our little things really well. Think about this. Not only do I not know how many hairs are on my head, I do know I have lost hair over the past year, but I have no clue how many hairs I have lost. God knows the exact number. Little things matter.
Hair is a little thing. I know, some of you disagree with me. I have had more than one barber say to me, “I don’t want to mess up your hair.” At one point I think I would have worried about it but today it isn’t that big of a deal. As long as I look decent, I am OK. My response to the barber is always the same, “It’s just hair, it will grow back.”
It seems to me that our lesson tells us that while little things may not mean much to us, they are of great importance to God.
Could that mean I should worry about the details more? Should the little things be more important to me? I think that is exactly what it means. Apparently, there really is a difference between the native speaker and a fluent speaker. It may not be easy to see, but it is there and to someone it is a little thing and, even the little things are important.
Most important of all, those distinctions are important to God. That “little thing” we did may not seem wrong. That sin that really hurt no one? It is still important to God. It is also important that God hear us confess to even those little things.
In the end, whether we think it big or little, Scripture reminds us that if we confess our sins, God is faithful and just and will forgive our sins and cleanse us of all unrighteousness. In the end, can we ask more than that?
Have a blessed day in the Lord.
Filled with blessings,
Copyright 2019, J. Keith Broyles, Spirit’s Breath Ministries, All Rights Reserved
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