A few examples of "The Small Things"

Last week in this space I encouraged the “one-talent” Christians out there to not lose heart, but rather to rejoice in the “small things” they may be able to do in service to God and to the church.  I thought I would follow up today with some specifics.

Again, these are things that virtually any Christian can do. 

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Peach cobbler and the body of Christ

Every Southern household has its own recipe for peach cobbler.  They differ widely.  Personally, I like a lot of peaches, a nice goopy consistency with the filling, and a crispy, sugary crust.  Others may prefer a more biscuit-like pastry, or a deeper pastry level than I like.  That’s fine.  Some prefer to make theirs in a casserole dish in the oven, some like the Crock Pot, some go old school and use a cast-iron Dutch oven over an open fire.  Everyone’s entitled to their own opinion.  But we all absolutely must agree on two bits of business: it must feature peaches, and it must be a cobbler.  It’s right there in the name, after all.  Peach.  Cobbler.

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Technically

Enough already with the whole “tomatoes are fruits, not vegetables” thing already.  I used to make that distinction myself, based on the idea that a “fruit” is a seed case by definition.  I am quite sure it was because of a need (poorly hidden) to appear smarter than someone else.  But I’m almost completely grown up now, I realize I’m not nearly as smart as I thought I was,  And I now believe words should be chosen to convey information, not to demonstrate one’s own intelligence.

If you want to get technical about it, I suppose snow peas are fruits.  And green beans.  Peppers.  Squash.  Cucumbers.  Okra.  The term “vegetable” loses all practical meaning in a kitchen or garden context.  Ordinary people have no trouble distinguishing between sweet things they call “fruits” and unsweet things they call “vegetables.”  If you bring a “fruit salad” with tomatoes in it to the next potluck, smart guy, your invitation to the next one may get lost in the mail.

There is a reason Paul warns Timothy about those who obsess over “controversial questions and disputes about words” in the context of the one who “does not agree with sound words, those of our Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Timothy 6:3-4).  People in search of nits to pick are typically bored with ordinary, mundane tasks such as reading the Bible and doing what it says.  They want to show their expertise in a fine point so badly, they run roughshod over basic, fundamental Bible principles.

I have no issue with being “technically correct.”  But I’m doing more harm than good if my goal is self-aggrandizement instead of mutual edification (1 Corinthians 14:26). That would make me, technically, a jerk.