Hannah More spoke of dealing with sin. Specifically, small ones. Those little faults we brush off until they grow into big problems.
“We must make certain that the infant shall never become a giant.” -Hannah More (1745-1833)
Like algebra concepts, small sins build on one another. Give them room, and soon, they think they own the place. Hence, Scripture’s warning to not give the enemy even a foothold (Eph. 4:27).
Hannah More wrote an essay, “On the Comparatively Small Faults and Virtues,” in which she lists faults like procrastination, indecision, idleness, vanity, irritability (Ouch!), and triflings (wasting time). In dealing with sin, she challenged readers to look at the opposite virtues and cultivate them. And as Adam found, cultivation is sweaty business, “By the sweat of your brow you will eat your food . . .” (Gen. 3:19).
Here are some of the small faults I battle:
- Taking offense easily
- Withholding ______
- Needing to be right
When I line up the corresponding virtues, I get this list:
- Grace, mercy, and a forgiving spirit
- Humility and self-control
“The acquisition of even the smallest virtue is actually a conquest over the opposite vice and doubles our moral strength.”
Double! That’s quite a return on investment. So, are you ready?
- Write down your small faults.
- What are the corresponding virtues?
- What action can you take to cultivate those virtues?
- Choose one.
- Start sweating.
Be intentional about dealing with sin. Something is going to grow. Cultivate virtue and sweat the small stuff.
Because babies, and vices, don’t stay small.
Workout of the Week: Sweat the Small Stuff
Memory Verse: “Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows.” Galatians 6:7
Meditation Passage: Galatians 6:7-10
Just Do It: Start sweating.