Follow me, and I’ll show you how. Mark 8:36 (MSG)
Making Things Right – Small Things Series – Part 6
There are people in positions of great power that I wouldn’t trust with my spare 5 cents buried underneath bobby pins and chewing gum wrappers at the bottom of my old handbag that lives in the back of my cupboard, let alone the decisions and policies about how you and I can conduct our lives and move around in our world. And yet, they seem to have “the much” and not “the little.” And then there are people with the biggest hearts and expansive grace and challenging integrity that never seem to get to the “big”.
And that’s where the tension is. That’s where the lesson is. Because the things outside of ourselves that we think are big are actually small in comparison to the condition of our seemingly small souls.
“For what use is it to gain all the wealth and power of this world, with everything it could offer you…” (Mark 8:36 TPT.)
Fame? Fortune? Money? Achievement? Success? Pleasure? Power? Influence?
“At the cost of your own soul?”
Unless we are willing to forsake those things in order to embrace healing and wholeness, we will always be at odds with ourselves. The tension will tip, and we’ll be crushed under its weight.
It might have seemed weak and small and even grasping for the Dishonest Manager, in Jesus parable, to try and make things right, even if it was so he didn’t come to complete ruin. People may have scoffed, judged, told jokes and made assumptions about him and where he would end up. But he did something seemingly small:
He thought about it.
Decided not to hide it.
Then he owned it. All the way to restoration.
I love that Jesus used this character: he wasn’t someone we would call a hero. He wasted his master's money. He made mistakes, probably many.
And thank God. Because I am that man, too. His story is my story.
In our moments of shame, weakness, and smallness, its no small thing to deny shame its power, to forsake greed and self-elevation, and get on with making things right.
The master in the parable shows us this too because when the manager came back to him and showed him what he had done in response, he didn’t shame him; he accepted, praised, and validated him.
We don’t know if the master kept him on, or if someone in the community took him, or what happened. And that’s part of the point, too. Life is full of twists and turns, situations and circumstances, moments and seasons, where the choice between light or dark, greed or community, health or wealth, will have to be made.
I pray that we aren’t led by shame to choose things that make us look big on the outside, but bring death to our souls.
I pray that we can keep making good, small choices quietly and privately that will lead to a life lived wholeheartedly, expansively and big. Because the big things? They’re really small compared to the other things we often take for granted: our health, our joy, and our souls.
I think the point is to hold it all at once. Let the tension pull on your life in such a way as to ground you, keep you steady, keep you walking. Too heavy, and you’ll drop; too light, and you’ll float away. Luckily, Jesus promised us that his burden is easy and light and it’s how we find out true selves.
“Don’t run from suffering; embrace it. Follow me, and I’ll show you how. Self-help is no help at all. Self-sacrifice is the way, my way, to saving yourself, your true self.” (Mark 8:36 MSG.)
Written by Lizzy Milani