The “little k” and “Big K” application from Sunday generated some good feedback from our faith family, one being this question: How do I personally measure “little k’s” vs. the “Big K’s” in my life? (To understand the context of this question, listen to the message here.)
Here are two words that help me steer this boat: Mandates and motives! Let me explain briefly.
When I say mandates, I’m simply asking — is there is a clear and definitive scriptural command/principle in play? If so, then I’m no longer dealing with a “little k” issue; it is, from the perspective of the one who makes the rules, a “Big K” matter.
Things like reading God’s Word, praying, serving others, identifying with a local body of believers, giving, purity, self-discipline/sober-mindedness, compassion, discipling others, and godly parenting (if you have children) are all non-negotiables. Granted — the way in which obedience to these mandates is carried out may vary from believer to believer, but the raw “what” of obedience to these matters is not an option. Why? They are mandates from our Creator. So we get involved.
The next word that helps me navigate these waters is the word motives. Here’s why: In digging out the “why” behind the “what,” I’m finding out the real reason I’m so passionate and plugged in to the issue in focus, regardless of whether its a mandate or not. If providing shelter for homeless people is one of the main ways God has gifted you to show compassion, why? If homeschooling is one of the key ways you feel God would have you “train up your child(ren),” why? If small groups in homes really gets you juiced for discipleship, why?
You see, probing questions help decipher motives. For instance, ask yourself things like …
- Am I drawing the wrong kind of (or too much) personal worth and significance from this? Is this where I turn when I need to “feel good” about who I am?
- Am I using it to exalt myself above others? Do I use this as a platform to feel like I am superior to others? Do I find myself judging those not involved at my same level as if they were inferior?
- Is criticism common in my conversation when this issue comes up?
- Do I find myself jealous when others succeed at the same thing in a different way? Do different opinions actually make me nervous and insecure?
Like it or not, your answers to those kinds of questions will more than likely tell you if you have taken a “little k” issue and made it a “Big K” matter. This is where the real moment of decision lies — what will you do if you discover that your “little k” has morphed into a “Big K” and needs re-sized? Maybe we can address that in a future blog!
For now, keep the words mandates and motives nearby and you’ll be well equipped to measure your “k’s,” checking to make sure your kingdoms don’t unintentionally compete with His.