As a young adult I learned a valuable lesson about saving. I was taught that if I put aside a little bit of every dollar that I earned, then eventually I would have enough money to buy something big. This concept has served me well over the years when I wanted to take a vacation or needed to buy a car or replace a household appliance. But the concept of taking many small pieces and accumulating something of significant worth has more than just financial applications. For example, if we spend a little bit of time each day praying and reading the Bible, over the course of a lifetime, we will have learned much about the Bible and develop a strong prayer life. If we exercise some each day, our bodies will function better and longer. If we show love to our families in little ways, our families will be able to endure the difficulties that life throws at them.
The concept of little things being done consistently over time and producing big effects used to be well understood in our society. But we have now become a society that wants instant gratification. The younger generation wants success and they want it now. Seldom are they willing to take time to invest in all the little steps that are required to build a good life.
One of the tasks of the church in our current era is to help young people rediscover this vital concept. We can help young people rediscover this concept if we talk about it more and if we show examples of how it has worked in our own lives. Teaching these concepts does not require big budgets, or fancy programs or the completion of formal educational programs. All it takes is one person caring enough to invest himself or herself in a younger person. It seems like Paul had something to say about that in his letters to young Timothy.
Spend some time this week thinking about some ways in which little things you did in your own life produced some big results and then ask God to show you creative ways to share that experience with the young people in your sphere of influence.