“One who is faithful in a very little is also faithful in much, and one who is dishonest in a very little is also dishonest in much.” (Luke 16:10, ESV)
Our internet service subscription recently increased by $8. The reason for the increase was because of a $10/month modem rental fee. Previously, we had been paying a $2/month rental fee. After we received the bill, I bought and installed a new modem. I then returned the internet service provider’s modem so we would not need to pay the rental fee anymore.
When I returned the rented modem, the kind customer assistant asked if I would be interested in having a faster internet speed at our home. I asked, “how much?”
“$10 a month” she replied. She then tried to further sell this to me by pointing out my bill would not increase because I was no longer paying the rental fee.
I could afford the $10. That was not the point. $10 is not that much. But the whole point of returning my modem was to lower my bill. Not to keep it the same. The whole reason my bill was so high was because of “small” and “affordable” increases over time. I politely declined this offer as she continued to insist was a great deal.
It may not seem like much. But $10 here and $10 there adds up. $10/month for a year is $120. I recently added up the various digital subscription services for which I pay like Netflix, Spotify, and iCloud. None of them are expensive by themselves. So often we say “yes” to these products and services because we think to ourselves that $10/month is no big deal. But when they are all added together it is a substantial amount of money.
It’s not just with our money. Also, consider your time. A half hour of your time may not seem like much. But a single half hour each day for a week is 3 1/2 hours. A half hour every day for a year is 182 1/2 hours. That is more than week’s worth of time out of your year.
When you say “yes” to a small thing, consider the cumulative cost. Not just the one time cost. So many of us are stretched, not by the large time or money commitments. We are stretched by thousands of little requests upon our time, money, and attention. It is $10 here or 10 minutes there – no big deal. But the cumulative cost sends us reeling.
The battle of good stewardship is often won, not with the big decisions, but the many little decisions we make each day. We think that it is a little thing and that it is of little consequence. But it is often the many little choices we have made that hinder the bigger choices. We are in a better place to make wise choices with the big decisions because we have made wise choices with the little decisions.
To make the right choices goes back to listen to God daily. It is being open to the Holy Spirit seeking his guidance in all things. Not just the big things!