The details = dangerous.

Meticulous. It’s my middle name.

I care about the little things. The most minute details are important in my life. Professionally, caring about the details can help or hinder me. Most of the time it’s a good thing, but there are times, I’ll admit, where I over think the small stuff and forget about the bigger picture. For instance, I’m a grammar queen, and sometimes when I edit messages, I pay more attention to a single apostrophe than the entire communication.

Christianity is the same way. The details are somewhat important. In order to stand up for our faith, we need to understand the Bible, inside and out. But, sometimes the details can be a hindrance.

Jesus tells us to have faith like children. It makes me wonder, what age group was He talking about? (There I go again with the details.)

If we have faith like a child under age four, we shouldn’t ask questions but simply be thrilled about the grace of God and the forgiveness of our sins. No questions asked, we should experience true joy, like that of an infant clapping and giggling, and celebrate His promise of eternal life.

On the other hand, if we have faith like a child over the age of four, we should ask “why?” all the time. If you’ve been around kids in this age group, you know what I’m talking about – the “why, why, why?” series of questions. Why did God do it? (Pure love.) Why do we deserve it? (We don’t deserve anything. Eternal life is a gift, and we should thank God for it every day we have breath.)

But no matter how many “whys” we ask, there’s no way we’ll fully know all the answers. Remember Proverbs 3:5, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding.” If we don’t understand everything, it’s okay.

Details are sometimes important. At work, when we’re struggling to get through difficult tasks, details are everything. In faith, details – such as memorized Bible verses – help us act as witnesses to nonbelievers.

Yet, details are sometimes irrelevant. At work, when we’re approaching a deadline and time is of the essence, the bigger picture trumps the details. In faith, when we’re approaching life’s end, the bigger picture is more important than the details. (Believe and baptized? Off to heaven you go! The details – like how many good deeds you did, how often you went to church, etc. – don’t matter.) Or when we’re sacrificing peace to win a theological argument, the bigger picture takes precedence.

So next time we find ourselves asking too many “whys” and not expressing enough “thank you’s,” let’s remind ourselves that it’s time to stop sweating the small stuff and start having faith like a child, preferably under the age of four.

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