(J. R. Miller, "Miller's Year Book—a Year's Daily Readings")
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"Whoever is faithful in very little—is also faithful in much;
and whoever is unrighteous in very little—is also unrighteous in much." Luke 16:10
We are apt to under-estimate little failures in duty.
It seems to us, a small matter:
that we do not keep an engagement,
that we lose our temper,
that we say an impatient or angry word,
that we show an unkind or harsh spirit,
that we speak uncharitably of another,
that we treat someone with discourtesy, or
fail in some other way which appears trivial.
We think that so long as we are honest, faithful, and loving in the larger things—that it of small importance, that we make 'little slips'.
But we never can tell what may be the consequences of our failure, in even the most minute duty.
A little slip hurts our own life! It leaves us a little weaker in our character, a little less able to resist the next temptation that comes at the same point. It breaks our habit of faithfulness, and makes it easier for us to break it a second time. We sin against ourselves, when we relax our diligence or our faithfulness, in even the least thing!
Then, we do not know what the consequences to others will be—when we fail in their presence. An outburst of temper in a Christian, may hinder many others in their Christian life. The failure of a Christian minister to pay a little debt, may destroy the minister's influence over many in his church.
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Something to ponder:
J.R. Miller: "The winds and storms make the well-rooted tree stand all the more firmly. So it is with the Christian life which is truly rooted in Christ. It has its temptations, its trials, its struggles—but they only strengthen it, making it cleave to Christ the more closely and firmly, and grow into all the more beautiful character."