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Actions of the Common Day! (08.08.05--Character Counts!--Gen. 27: 11-13)


“It’s the little things that count!” Growing up, this phrase had special meaning in my life. No, not because I enjoyed hearing it or, for that matter, even putting it to good use in my life. Rather, it was one of what I called the “BR” phrases. You know, the “broken record” phrases that parents employ just to make sure they can still get a rise out of you.


Oscar Wilde was a very gifted writer and speaker. God had given him many special talents; most of which he squandered long before realizing what he was wasting. Ignoring the “BR’s” altogether, he committed his life to goals of wanton pleasure and whim. He later wrote: “The gods had given me almost everything. But I let myself be lured into long spells of senseless and sensual ease . . . Tired of being on the heights, I deliberately went to the depths in search for new sensation. What the paradox was to me in the sphere of thought, perversity became to me in the sphere of passion. I grew careless of the lives of others. I took pleasure where it pleased me, and passed on. I forgot that every little action of the common day makes or unmakes character, and that therefore what one has done in the secret chamber, one has some day to cry aloud from the house-top. I ceased to be lord over myself. I was no longer the captain of my soul, and did not know it. I allowed pleasure to dominate me. I ended in horrible disgrace. (Oscar Wilde--Letters to the Galatians and Ephesians)


When we ignore the little things, “actions of the common day”, we doom ourselves to lives of mediocrity at best and wasted lives at worst. Character counts because character, being able to learn from the mundane and ordinary events of life, makes us aware of the “big” things when they actually are upon us. When we ignore the little things, when we let the little deceptions and half truths dominate our lives, we dig a hole with our actions, scoop by terrible scoop, until the day comes when we have dug it deep enough to no longer escape it. When we so deceive ourselves and others, the Bible tells us that we may “bring down a curse” (Gen. 27:12) upon our heads.

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