You Mustn’t Let a Little Thing Like ‘Little’ Stop You

I really enjoyed watching the new Roald Dahl’s Matilda the Musical. One of the catchiest songs for me was Naughty, in which the eponymous Matilda, a plucky young girl, sings:

You mustn’t let a little thing like ‘little’ stop you!

The song is about how you can be brave and take matters into your own hands, even though you might be a very small person. It’s a great message. For me, the meaning of the song runs even deeper than that. 

Sometimes I feel like I don’t have much to give as a writer (and as a person). Call it insecurity or imposter syndrome or perfectionism, but I often feel like the boy in the bible who had five loaves and two fish to offer Jesus (John 6:1-15). Yet He didn’t let a little thing like ‘little’ stop him. 

He didn’t let a little thing like ‘little’ stop him.

At times, my offerings can seem minuscule—especially compared to other writers or creatives who seem to produce an endless stream of worthwhile content. When I am hyper-focused on the teenyness of my writing, I hear that familiar critical voice inside my head: ‘Why bother? Your tiny contribution won’t make a scrap of difference. You may as well give up now and do something really worthwhile instead.’ 

Sound familiar?

If I believe this voice, I’ll quit all my creative endeavours because it’s too costly to give of my vulnerable self with so little reward. However, 

You mustn’t let a little thing like ‘little’ stop you.

Who cares if my offering is tiny? Who cares how it compares to everyone else’s worthwhile work? Does the size of my writing affect its worthiness? Of course not. If a fellow writer wrote less than me, would I tell them to quit? Of course not! If my writing only helps one person, should I give up? A resounding No!

Who cares if my offering is tiny? Who cares how it compares to everyone else’s work?

The bible warns us of the dangers of overly cautious living in the parable of the talents. In Matthew 25:14-30, a play-it-safe servant decides to hide his solitary talent rather than invest it. The master is so furious with this safety-focused servant, he takes his sole talent and gives it to another servant who actually used his talents. 

The master would have been more pleased if the sole-talent servant had done something—anything—with this talent, even if it was only something little. But the servant chose what many of us do: to err on the side of caution. Opt out of the risk. Abstain from gambling. 

Giving our ‘little’ is always a gamble. There is no guarantee it will pay off. Even if it does make a difference, there is no guarantee we will ever find out about it. It’s a leap of faith—and we need the Holy Spirit’s help in taking the jump. 

Giving our ‘little’ is always a gamble.

Whatever God has placed before you to do, I pray you will find the courage today to take the plunge. 

You mustn’t let a little thing like ‘little’ stop you.

Do you struggle to put your creative efforts ‘out there’? Do you worry it’s too little? How can you take one little step today toward what God is asking you to do? Share your story. Let’s have a countercultural conversation. 

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