Little Things Matter

Thursday, May 23, 2024
Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "My Jesus I Love Thee"1 (Lyrics)

Oh, what a difference one tiny little letter made! My high school classmate, Annette, had just sent me an email telling about her upcoming surgery for shin cancer. Shin cancer? I'd never heard of such a thing, but knowing that Annette had spent her career as a high school physical education teacher and had played recreational soccer for most of her adult years, it sounded feasible. Shin guards are obviously worn for a reason in soccer, so I wondered if there was some kind of connection between Annette's soccer playing and her shin cancer.

Sympathetically, I asked if her shin cancer was connected to her many years of playing soccer. "No," she responded, "It's skin cancer, due to years of sun exposure." Many in our generation are now reaping the consequences of basting ourselves with baby oil to help develop a suntan rather than using sunblock as a preventative! To add just one more layer to this comical exchange, Annette added, "But it's right either way because I have skin cancer on my shin!"

All too often, I've found myself in the same kind of downward spiral of miscommunication. Just as an "h" rather than a "k" changed not only a word but also the meaning of my email exchange with my classmater, typos can slip into my own messages so easily. In addition, my computer and iPhone think that they can read my mind, autocorrecting at will. I've found that it's essential to review an email or text message carefully before clicking "Send"!

How many other miscommunications and misunderstandings in our lives are also due to very small things! We may misinterpret a facial expression or an ordinary gesture. We may blurt out the first thing that comes to mind, immediately wishing that we could take our words back. A seemingly small comment can set off a chain reaction of misunderstanding and hurt.

James 3:8-10 – No one can tame the tongue. It is restless and evil, full of deadly poison. Sometimes it praises our Lord and Father, and sometimes it curses those who have been made in the image of God. And so blessing and cursing come pouring out of the same mouth. Surely, my brothers and sisters, this is not right! (NLT)

Though a very small thing can cause great damage, in contrast a single word, small gesture, or thoughtful action can bring great blessing. Life is always a balancing act, and we don't always get things right, but it warrants intentional thought and focus to speak and act kindly rather than to inflict hurt carelessly and needlessly.

We can ask for godly help and wisdom every day in our interactions with others. It is only through God's power that we can tame our tongues and live and act in ways that honour and please Him. Let's go to the source of love as we determine to pass it on.

Prayer: "May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing to You, O Lord, my rock and my redeemer." Amen. (Psalm 19:14 NLT)

Forward this devotional     Share this devotional on Facebook     Like PresbyCan on Facebook

About the author:

Gail Lundquist <>
Beaverton, Oregon, USA

Send your feedback to the author

1 Comment

  • PresbyCan Feedback says:

    Thank you.

    Thank you, Gail, for your message today.

    Excellent advice about our speech. Such a practical topic.

    Thanks, Gail, for an uplifting devotional to start the day. Blessings.

    Let our love for God and our neighbor be reflected in what we say and do.

    Gail, as an English teacher and editor, I have seen (and made) my share of these typos. Thanks for the encouraging words.

    Thanks for your very good words today, Gail, and your closing prayer are words we need to repeat often. Blessings for the writings you prepare.

    Gail, I enjoyed your humorous example that points to an important lesson about paying attention to little things in my life that might mislead others. Point taken! Keep up the good writing.

    Good morning, Gail,
    Thank you for your good words this morning. May we all think before we talk.

    … another prudent devotional which compels “intentional thought” in sending and receiving all communication, digital and personal. To tame the tongue and the ear are antidotes to “deadly poison.”

    Wonderful way of demonstrating the ‘little’ things. What struck me most was your comment about misunderstanding a facial expression or some small body language. That has been a very great influence in my marriage – my misinterpretation!! Thank you for this wake-up call.

    Good morning, Gail,
    Thank you for this reading today. It is so true, and it is not just my cell phone that auto corrects.
    It is amazing how one gesture or word can make all the difference!
    Another verse I pray is, Lord take the plank out of my eye so I can help with the splinter in the eyes of others. I find it helps with saying something wrong.
    God bless.

    Good morning, Gail!
    Thank you for your message today. I can relate to it. My computer and specifically my IPhone also think that it can read my mind. On more than one occasion I have sent off an email where a different or unrelated wording inserts itself unbeknownst to me and before it’s caught – off it goes. If I happen to send a copy of the email to myself, I am usually horrified by the content of my written text. Typos – I can smile now!
    Have a blessed day!

    Good morning, Gail,
    I liked how you spoke about both ways that “little things matter” and reminded us that God is always there to help us our tongue in a way that lifts up others. “Let’s go to the source of love as we determine to pass it on.” This is a small part of your devotional but a very important part.
    I really believed you were talking about “shin cancer” and wondering why I hadn’t heard of it before. I do make more typos since I retired. I was much more careful while I was working. Interesting to think about for me.
    Thanks for sharing.

Previous Post
Next Post

PresbyCan is a community of faithful, Holy Spirit-filled, Christ-centred, God-honouring Christians.