This month let’s talk about THE BIG STUFF. What is the big stuff in your life? Is it your TV, your car, your house, your family, your relationships with others? Maybe it is your self-concept, your ego, including both how you see yourself and how you think others see you. These are all important but not the really big stuff.
A book was published by the title of “Don’t Sweat The Small Stuff, It’s All Small Stuff” by Dr. Richard Carlson. The author mistakenly misses the big stuff of life. The book subtitle reads “Simple Ways To Keep The Little Things From Taking Over Your Life.” While it is essential that our lives are not controlled by the small stuff, the author only addresses the “small stuff” and says it is all small stuff. In the book he mentions 100 issues in life that we as individuals don’t always deal with comfortably. He gives meaningful advice on how to deal with these issues to keep them the “small stuff” of life. The issues identified by Dr. Carlson are problems we are likely to face, sometimes daily or over a long period of time. We do need to find ways to keep these matters in our life under control so that we can address the “big stuff” of life. However, how we address the “big stuff” of life will be the major impact on how we view and handle the “small stuff.” So what is the “big stuff?”
The big question that faces every individual is: Where will I spend eternity? If we put that matter off during our lifetime, the decision is made for us. We will spend eternity in Hell. If we make a conscious decision to reject the Christian faith, we will spend eternity in Hell. If, however, we decide the “big stuff” by accepting Jesus Christ as our savior (see John 3:16), then we will spend eternity in Heaven. Big stuff, simple answer. The corollary to this big stuff is this: Will I live my life in a manner that pleases God (in keeping with my salvation)? The way in which we live our lives is the evidence that our Christian faith is real.
Once we decide the “big stuff” about where we will spend eternity and determine that we will live a life pleasing to God, maybe the rest is really the “small stuff.” Even major issues such as choosing a life mate is an issue that will be framed within our Christian faith or lack of it. Our choice of friends and work in life will also be framed by our faith or lack of it. So the “big stuff” will help us deal with the “small stuff” of life. All of the issues addressed by Dr. Carlson will be approached in a different manner if God is central in our lives. In fact, when God is with us, the “small stuff” gets smaller and we are more capable of handling it. This allows us to concentrate on the big stuff. What are youdoing about the big stuff?
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THE BIG STUFF
These study questions are intended for use with the God’s Plan for Service program, The Big Stuff. The primary purpose of the study questions is to help the reader to more fully grasp the significance and implications of the topic. .
- What is your response to the “big stuff” of life?
- How does having a Christian faith help us deal with the “small stuff?”
- Is there some “small stuff” in your life today that you need to pray about?Will you ask God about it in prayer today?
Kenneth Oosting, Ph D