Practicing the Better: The Holy Value of One


Practicing the better is enacting love in the little things of life. That’s good news because we spend most of our time living in the world of small things.  It is what has often been referred to as ordinary holiness.  Brother Lawrence referred to it as “doing little things for God.”  The late Archbishop of Canterbury, Michael Ramsey, captured it in these words,

“The glory of Christianity is its claim that small things really matter and that the small company, the very few, the one man, the one woman, the one child–are of infinite worth to God.  Consider our Lord himself, who devoted himself to a small country, to small things, and to individuals–often giving hours of time to the few or the one.  Our Lord gives much time to the woman of Samaria, to Nicodemus, to Martha, to Mary, to Lazarus, and to Peter.  The infinite worth of the one is the key to the Christian understanding of the many.  You will never be nearer to Christ than in caring for the one man, the one woman, the one child.  His authority will be given to you as you do this, and his joy will be yours as well.” [1]

We will consider many aspects of practicing the better in this series, but the words above are at the heart of it all.  We do not know who will cross our path next, but we know how we are supposed to act when they do.

[1] Michael Ramsey, ‘The Christian Priest Today’ (Cowley Publications, 1972), 42.

About Steve Harper

Retired seminary professor, who taught for 32 years in the disciplines of Spiritual Formation and Wesley Studies. Author and co-author of 42 books. Also a retired Elder in The Florida Annual Conference of The United Methodist Church.
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