Want to Be Successful? Major in the Minors

by Frank Powell

Yeah, I know what some of you are thinking…majoring in the minors is a detrimental mindset to have. I will agree with you when the context is Christian ideology. Nothing is more damaging to the unity and progression of the church than individuals or groups of people focusing on trivial, insignificant issues in the life of a church at the expense of the larger mission. It will suck the life from even the most devout followers of Jesus. So, don’t worry, we are all on the same page there. What I am referring to instead is a mindset we should develop that hinges the successes or failures of life on a smaller, subset of decisions. In essence, success in life and faithfulness to God is rooted in the small decisions and not necessarily the large ones. Hear me out.

When I played football in high school, there was one coach that would come out every Monday before we started practice and say to us, “Fellas……..(there was always an extended, awkward pause here)…….if you want to succeed on Friday night, you have to succeed on Monday. You can’t expect to win on Friday if you don’t win on Monday” (imagine this in a very forte, raspy coach’s voice…then it really starts to come to life).¬†Being a teenager, that sounded like the most ridiculous statement I had ever heard. I would never think to approach Monday like a Friday. Friday is when the lights come on. Friday is when thousands (alright maybe hundreds) of people are watching. Friday is when I get an opportunity to cement my place in Grenada High School folk lore (which doesn’t exist).¬†Mondays?? Mondays are only good because they are four days from Friday. And I do not know about the rest of you, but the worst possible stuff always happened to me on Mondays. My coach, however, pushed us harder on Mondays in drills and scrimmages than any other day…and now I see why. He knew if he could get us to see the importance of winning the small battles, Friday night wins would come. And they did come.

How does this translate to everyday life? Let me make a statement I hope sticks with you.

I believe both God AND Satan recognize the importance of the small decisions we make in everyday life.”

Let’s start with Satan. In my previous post, I talked about the schemes of Satan. He wants to destroy us. He is crafty and deceitful. He recognizes this fact to be true…most Christians are not going to fall for a trap if we can see it. So, instead Satan chooses to use a small series of traps that are less visible and might even be hidden in some form of truth (refer to 2 Cor. 11:14). Satan can destroy your life faster than the government spends money, but for Satan to gain control of your mind and heart, he must take control of the small, seemingly insignificant decisions. For the building to come crashing down, there must first be a crack.

Now, let’s turn to God. Let’s start here…the fact that the almighty, all powerful God of the universe would even consider human beings is the first (and most important) sign God “majors in the minors.” But then you go even deeper. Matthew 10:30 tells us God knows EXACTLY how many hairs we have on our head. What?! God even puts his stamp on the human body. One of the basic proteins responsible for holding us together (I understand this is not sound technical jargon for my doctors out there, so please bear with me) is called a laminin. What is striking about the laminin? Its structure and shape is that of a cross. God even wanted to place his fingerprints are something that human eyes can not even see. Let’s face it…the small things are important to God, and they also need to be important to us.

And this is where the problem arises. We live in a culture today that is irrefutably driven by results, and the results must be seen and the results must be seen NOW. Coaches are fired after one season if he or she loses a bunch of games. People are fired from jobs if the quarter’s profits are down. Unfortunately at times, ministers are even fired if sharp increases in attendance numbers and baptisms are not seen quickly. How can we not expect to buy into what the culture is selling? I understand it is hard, but here is the thing about “majoring in the minors”…it involves making decisions everyday that will not produce immediate fruit. My coach wanted to instill in us a mentality that focuses on the times when the lights are off just as much as when the lights are on. If we expect to be successful in this life and remain faithful to God, we must approach Monday morning the same way we approach Sunday morning. We must live out the same type of Christian life that we portray to others on Sunday morning, and we do this by developing good, healthy habits everyday. I hear teens say things like this often, “I just did not get anything out of this Bible study oR prayer or that speaker or devotional. I just do not see the importance of reading my Bible everyday.” What essentially they are saying is this…I did not see any visible results, so I stopped doing it. You can take what I am about to say to the bank.

The seed you sow today might not produce fruit tomorrow, but it WILL produce fruit eventually.”

We must realize the importance of developing good habits and treating the minor decisions as major ones. Whether or not you decide to spend time alone with God everyday is a major decision. Whether or not you decide to spend time with God’s people as often as possible is a major decision. Whether or not you decide to put yourself in vulnerable positions is a major decision. How you decide to spend your free time. How you decide to love your spouse daily. How you decide to treat your parents and siblings. How you decide to respond to stress and anxiety. All of these decisions are important. The decision you make regarding the small situations and circumstances in life might not produce fruit tomorrow, but it will produce fruit eventually.

All of these minor, seemingly insignificant decisions ultimately determine our success in this life and our faithfulness to God. We have a God that takes the small things seriously. We have an adversary that take the small things seriously. I challenge you to major in the minors and see how your life begins to change.

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