I usually don’t make New Year’s resolutions. And this year was no exception. I had no plans to achieve a goal—such as hit the gym more, keep up on the laundry, or write the great American novel. The main reason being, I’m not good at keeping resolutions.
But after the consumption of way too many holiday goodies, my husband and I decided we would go without sugar for a while. This new way of eating required planning, grocery shopping, and cooking—things I have been less than consistent at doing as the stay-at-home-mom of three young children and a freelance writer and editor.
So I unwittingly made one resolution: to eliminate sugar from our diet, which set into motion several more. Plan. Buy groceries. Cook. Eat at home.
Several days in, after sitting down at the table to our third home-cooked dinner in a row, my husband sighed contentedly. “You know what I love about this way of eating?” he said. “We have food in the house. You could cook me sugar-free food or food full of sugar. I just like when you cook me food.”
I was convicted by my husband’s kind admission. A busy season had led to too many dinners of take-out and scrounged together leftovers. But then I noticed something else: My husband’s gratefulness for my modest home cooked dinners revealed a small but important way I could serve my family. Something I may not have seen apart from one minor change.
The Bible is full of examples of small things making a big difference. Take a look at a few of them:
“Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you” (Matt. 17:20 NIV).
“Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much, and whoever is dishonest with very little will also be dishonest with much” (Luke 16:10).
For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, mutual affection; and to mutual affection, love (2 Peter 1:5-7).
Sometimes I’ve felt that I have to address all my problems and bad habits at once. This usually leads to me feeling overwhelmed, and when I can’t follow through, defeated. But God tells me that even a small step in the right direction—be it a mustard seed of faith, an addition of self-control, or cooking a meal—can cause a ripple effect for good.
Three weeks into my accidental resolution, I’m feeling better, weighing a little less, and enjoying a happier husband. I received multiple benefits for the price of one change, and that’s a trend I hope to continue throughout the year.
A little faithfulness can go a long way. Learn more about the value of persevering in Dr. Stanley’s article “The Principle of Sowing and Reaping.”