Little things speak volumes

Nov. 06, 2013 @ 04:35 AM

Sunday afternoon I received one of the most encouraging phone calls. It was from way up in the hills of West Virginia, of all places.

It left me smiling, and also reflecting on how the little things we do in life speak volumes to people that we do not even realize are watching.

Here is the story...

Last year I preached a two day Bible conference in West Virginia. While my family and I were there, the pastor one morning took us a couple of towns over to visit another church. We stayed for a few minutes, I spoke to the founding pastor, and we went on our way.

Fast forward several months. I was preaching a youth rally up near Winston-Salem. I had a bus full of my church kids with me, and on the way back we stopped at a restaurant to eat. Now, I don’t know how your church kids are, but mine are happily joyously noisily messy!

So each time we go somewhere I make them all clean up their tables, under their tables, their seats, and anywhere else they have managed to deposit something. They have gotten very good at it! They will wipe down the tables, find a broom and dustpan and sweep, and generally leave the place far cleaner than when they found it. Good kids.

On this particular day, I did not know that we were being watched.

But yesterday I got a phone call from my pastor friend in West Virginia. He himself had just received a call from the founding pastor of the church that we went to visit. It seems that he had been in that restaurant that day, and knew that he knew me from somewhere, but could not quite place it.

It was not till he got home to West Virginia that it clicked with him who I was. And so he called my pastor friend to tell him how impressed he was with that great group of kids!

Everything we do matters. Matthew 5:16 says “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.”

The things we do on a daily basis are always seen by someone, and will either bring glory or dishonor to the Lord. Waiters and waitresses notice whether or not you leave a mess, and whether or not you leave a good tip.

Police officers notice whether you are respectful or disrespectful. Teachers notice whether your effort was the best you have or only a half-hearted attempt. Employers notice whether or not you really work, or do just enough to remain employed. Parents notice whether you obey with a smile, or with a snarl.

Recently my family and I went to eat at a local restaurant. We arrived at the double set of glass doors at the same time that a wonderful African American family did. Without anyone saying a word, my son, age fourteen, and their son who appeared to be about the same age, immediately went to a door apiece and opened them wide so both of our families could walk through. Let me tell you something, that encourages me about the future!

If there are still young people out there willing to put others before themselves, and willing to think of the needs of others, willing to clean up after themselves and do right, there is still the possibility of a bright future. You will speak to people today even if you never say a word. Every action great or small speaks volumes.

Make sure your actions speak well, you just never know who may be watching.


Dr. Bo Wagner is pastor of the Cornerstone Baptist Church of Mooresboro, and the author of several books. His books are available at