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Monday, June 6, 2011

The Drive for Big Acts

My previous blog was on our Sunday service which introduced a new theme that will be developed in the coming weeks—the significance of “Small Acts.”  I would like to discuss “Small Acts” and the humility they suggest and contrast that with the pride often associated with and driving “Big Acts.”  A “Big Act” that immediately comes to mind is the act of murder.  Surely the desire to do a “Big Act” with major impact is at the heart of this crime.  The gun on the street is not only an equalizer; it allows decisive and permanent dominance. It enables us to do “Big Acts”—big gestures that are at base motivated by pride.  We see this also occasionally upon the “spontaneous” receiving of awards.  It is with pride that the recipient thanks the “little people” that made it all possible in acceptance speeches tailored to outdo the Gettysburg Address.  The overweening pride that accompanies “Big Acts” can be embarrassing glaring.  “Big Acts” suggest heroics and self-promotion; “Small Acts” suggest a humility that seeks to effectively assist others.  Jesus reveals the heart of the matter (NIV Matthew 6:1-4): “Be careful not to practice your righteousness in front of others to be seen by them. If you do, you will have no reward from your Father in heaven. So when you give to the needy, do not announce it with trumpets, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and on the streets, to be honored by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full.  But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving may be in secret. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.”  

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