The other evening after dinner, we discovered a mess under the kitchen sink. Water and ground up garbage was everywhere. I immediately guessed we had a stopped up drain problem or a pipe had come loose. Neither was the case. The culprit was “Garbage Disposal Malfunction.” The garbage disposal was spewing its contents around the cabinet. As I squeezed in the cramped dark space to figure out what was going on, I eventually discovered a hole in the side of the disposal. By touch, it seemed that a big portion of the machine had rusted through. Needless to say, last night was spent replacing a garbage disposal.
When the old disposal was finally removed, I didn’t discover a huge rusted out place through the metal side, but instead a very tiny hole. So small was the hole in fact, at the most one-eighth of an inch across, that I couldn’t believe such a mess could come from such a small hole and a tiny leak.
That small leak made me think how a “small leak” in my words or actions can makes a huge mess. It doesn’t take very many words to cause a lot of damage. That is probably the reason James gives us the advice: “Understand this, my dear brothers and sisters: You must all be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to get angry.” James 1:19 Small negative acts can have major consequences.
But the opposite is also true. Small acts of love and kindness can also have dramatic and positive effects. Jesus gives an example for us: “And if you give even a cup of cold water to one of the least of my followers, you will surely be rewarded.” Matthew 10:42
Small acts of love and kindness go a long way to demonstrate the heart of Christ to others. It didn’t take a very big whole to make a mess under our sin. How much better when instead of bad, the little bit is good. A little bit … has lots of potential, both for bad or good.