Should we stop talking about these little issues and just focus on what matters? Or does God care about yoga pants, caffeine and all the rest?
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Yoga Pants, Caffeine and Why We Should Care

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 Should we stop talking about these little issues and just focus on what matters? Or does God care about yoga pants, caffeine and all the rest?

Ironically, my post about my recent decision to quit caffeine was written before I read the post about leggings, but took off after the yoga pants post went viral.

There was a little backlash to my post. Some found it judgmental – even though I clearly stated that my intent was not to judge but to simply open up dialogue.

Others called for me to focus on what really matters.  Just like people said about Veronica Partridge and her leggings.

 

While I agree that debating, getting angry, and posting mean comments is a waste of time – time that could be better spent winning souls – I do think that dialogue about these issues is important.

 

Here is why I think we should care about these smaller issues.

 

1. Jesus cares. Jesus said that even the idle words we speak will be judged. In other words, it matters what we do, what we wear, what we say, what we think – even what’s in our heart when we do these things.

Does Jesus care if we wear leggings? Does He care if I drink coffee? Sure, if we feel a conviction about these things. Yes He does.

And I believe that initiating dialogue about it is a very healthy thing for the body. Because it gives other believers opportunity to examine their hearts and lives.

Perhaps a brother or sister has felt a nudge in that direction, but needed a bigger push to examine their heart and what they feel God is saying to them. Perhaps someone has a similar conviction, but is feeling pressure to compromise, and your story is the encouragement they need to press on.

 

2. The bigger picture contains important details. If all we do is focus on the bigger picture without taking time to examine the details that make up the bigger picture – the details that would alter the bigger picture if absent – we are being careless.

The fact of the matter is that Veronica’s decision to honor her husband and not wear leggings is useful to the whole body. She is illustrating for us something more than simply what she chooses to no longer wear. She illustrates for us virtue and submission. Two things we are called to by Scripture to cultivate in our lives.

My decision to quit caffeine was based initially on a desire to be healthy and reverse Adrenal Fatigue, but quickly advanced to a knowledge that my body’s dependency on a substance – however minor or severe – was displeasing to God.  If a substance alters my moods and causes me to be anxious and worried because of it (a clear violation of scripture) or cranky without it, it’s time to make a change.

 

3. Testimonies were meant to be shared. And that’s what these two stories are all about. Neither Veronica nor I were pointing the finger and telling other believers what not to wear or what not to drink. Both of us clearly stated that this was, in fact, not our point, rather the point was to share something the Lord had spoken to us to do – and the result of our obedience to Him.

A testimony. And testimonies are meant to be shared so as to encourage and edify the body.

Sadly what has resulted can only be described as a major dysfunction in the family of God. One woman’s story about how she wished to honor her husband and lead a virtuous life ended up being a national controversy in which she was demonized, excoriated, and crucified….by other Christians.

And the end result has been a loud cry to “Shut up and move on to more important matters”.

 

But I leave you with this: We can make our sole vision to win the lost, but if in the process small foxes eat away at the vines in our heart, where does that leave us? If we choose to ignore the little things that influence the larger areas of our character, what will that do to our testimony?

If we call for those who are sensitive to these smaller details to pick up their toys and go home, could we possibly be missing a still, small voice of the Holy Spirit calling us to greater virtue and sanctification?

 

While some may argue that these matters split hairs, we must not forget that the Word addresses details about food, clothing, modesty, and all the rest – along with the larger issues of winning the lost and spreading the gospel.

A true testament to the fact that He indeed cares about small matters of the heart – and so should we!

 

 

Rosilind
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19 Comments

  1. I’m a little out of the loop on this one. I didn’t read the leggings article, but I read an article against the leggings article (someone posted it on FB), and I had some of the same thoughts you share here, Rosilind.
    The argument that we shouldn’t be concerned/write about small stuff because there is more important stuff is flawed in some major ways:
    1. We can always find something more important–what level of importance should something be before we care about it?
    2. Do those who use this argument think God is only interested in big things? Do they think that he is unconcerned with our hatred of a friend because there are wars going on? Would they say we should only pray when we have something extremely important to pray about?
    3. The choice is rarely between a small thing and a big thing. It’s not like you are choosing between giving up evangelism or giving up caffeine.

    But the greatest flaw in their argument is Luke 16:10: “Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much.” How we respond to the details in our lives matters to God and affects how we respond to the big things.

    I’m tempted to write a devotion on this subject too, dear friend. Your points here are excellent and right on.

    Another thing you are getting from your negative comments is an attitude that I see so prevalent in Christianity today–the “Judge Not” misunderstanding. Many people believe we are not supposed to write about anything that makes other Christians uncomfortable, even if we are humbly sharing our personal struggle.

    Sending you a hug, dear friend.
    Gail : )

    1. Gail – thank you so much for your encouragement and excellent comment. I really enjoyed reading your thoughts on this. You are awesome! And when you post your devotional, please let me know because I’d like to promote it on my Facebook page! I also liked what you said about “Judge Not” – one of the most misquoted and misapplied verses in the Bible!

  2. Thanks Roz for lovingly and Biblically persevering in this important discussion. And thanks Gail for a great response.

  3. Excellent article Rosilind! One of the ladies in my bible study group commented on this issue and I noticed everyone else stayed pretty quiet. I guess we are all at different levels of growth and what convicts some hasn’t convicted others…yet, hopefully! People become defensive when one person speaks from a place of conviction even though that person wasn’t trying to be judgemental. I am amazed at how this topic exploded everywhere! I pray that the voice reason and peace prevails. Thank you for being one of those voices 🙂

    1. It is sad to see how people allow other people’s convictions to make them hostile. It’s sad, because it essentially says, “Keep your convictions, but stay silent about it” – while those who have lower convictions flaunt them freely. Once more, we see that tolerance only goes one direction – even in the body. Even when you preface your convictions with “I’m not judging…”

  4. Excellent post and insight. Keep up the good work. It’s in the little things that we reveal our hearts. In the little obediences, the attitudes, the comments, the choices. God uses it all, as we should, to discover where our hearts truly lie, in self or in Christ. Thanks for sharing.

  5. YES! Amen, amen, amen. It seems that people are just looking for an excuse to justify their self-centered choices. I don’t say that from a perspective of pious perfection, but from one of humble and concerned observance. Thanks for sharing this wisdom at the Grace & Truth Linkup!

  6. As soon as I saw the title of your post I had to click on it! I don’t know what makes people think that if you care about small things you are ignoring big things. Or that there is not enough room for both. That is not how it works. I remember having a pet die. Okay, it was a chicken, and I cried. Then I felt guilty because there are people suffering all over the world and I am crying over a stupid chicken. Then the Lord spoke to me about how he cared. Not one sparrow is forgotten by God. I know I am off on a tangent and that is not the same, but the point is you can focus on things like modesty and addiction in whatever area that looks like and that does not negate other areas of focus like reaching the lost or feeding the hungry. You are absolutely right. It is Biblical. I don’t think people need to be judgmental or degrading so maybe what the concern is. But you can’t just label everyone with convictions as having a religious spirit! I am tired of it.

    1. I am so glad you stopped by to share your story. You are right – He cares about the small details of our life and that’s what makes these issues so important. Its sad when a person’s testimony is denigrated because people thought that it was unimportant, or condemn it as judgmental. This is the day we live in. Sadly there is so much anger in the body.

  7. Great post…very thought-provoking. I love that you were sensitive enough to God’s nudging that when you felt called to do (or not do) something, you followed through. A great reminder to be mindful of the still small voice. 🙂

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