Billy's Blog
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May 16, 2017, 9:39 AM

The Big Picture

The devil is in the detail. I was never really sure what this meant so I Googled it. According to Wikipedia it's an old idiom that means that you're going to find something in the details that may complicate what you are trying to do. I don't like details. I struggle with details. You know things like; keeping receipts, making lists, keeping a calendar...I don't do these very well. If the devil is in the details then I think God is in the big picture. 

In Matthew 23:23-24 Jesus challenges the Pharisees to get the big picture right. They did a great job with details. They gave a tenth of EVERYTHING...down to the spices in their garden. But they missed some big picture stuff. They missed things like justice, mercy and faithfulness. 

One account in the Bible tells us about Jesus encountering a woman who is caught in adultery. The men had the details right. The law did allow them to stone this woman. Their knowledge of the law was impeccable. Jesus did not appeal to their knowledge he appealed to mercy. He simply told the men that whoever was without sin could go ahead and start stoning her. The older men started to walk away and the younger men, who saw this was going nowhere, walked away, too. The only two people left there were Jesus and this woman. Jesus simply asked her if there was anyone left to condemn her. The answer was obvious, and Jesus told her to go and sin no more. 

The men had the details right, but Jesus appealed to a bigger picture. Maybe if we show this woman mercy she will change her life. Maybe if we see a bigger picture we might do a better thing. 

You and I need to see a bigger picture in our lives each day. 

Let's say you are in a restaurant. You have sat down with some friends for lunch. Your waitress informs you that this is her first day on her own. She has been through training but she's finally on her own. This is not good news. Your service will not be fantastic. She will be nervous, slow, and not very knowledgable about the menu. You find yourself getting impatient and angry just thinking about it. But don't think about the details. Think about the big picture. This young lady is already very self-conscious about the fact that she's new. She really wants to do a good job. Regardless of whether she's doing a good job maybe you should tell her she is. You see the effort she's putting forth. How about you tip her nicely? How about you set up your table to make it easier to clean? How about you be very nice and patient when she struggles to get orders right and is slower than you like? 

The bigger picture is that this is a person. She's a person made by God. She might possibly need Jesus Christ, and if you and I treat her with rudeness and disrespect what chance do we have of making a positive impact on her life. 

Jesus was great about seeing the bigger picture. When Peter defended him in the garden with that sword and cut that soldier's ear off Jesus was all about the bigger picture. Jesus was the one who had told the disciples to carry a sword. It wasn't that the detail was wrong. Jesus had a bigger picture. He had a mission to complete. He had to save the world not to save himself. 

Look for the big picture in your life today. 

The devil is in the details. 


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