In going through pre-op procedures at the hospital as I have recently, technicians find out how “big” you are in lots of ways—how tall, how heavy, how much are all of the various levels of your blood chemistry, and on and on. As a child grows, parents often take measurements marked on a door casing somewhere in the house to keep track of how “big” the growing child is on any given date. Metaphorically speaking, we pay people a compliment by saying, “They’re a big person” or “That is mighty big of you.”
The Lord wants His people to be big. He wants His people to grow up (Ephesians 4:15). However, before anyone can be a big person, so far as God is concerned, he must first be born again (John 3:3-5). One is born again when he obeys the gospel (1Peter 1:22-23). One is obedient to the gospel when he has heard, believed, repented of his sins, confessed his faith in Christ, and has been baptized into Christ where all spiritual blessings are found.
However, some people, who are born again, remain little people. Some remain babies. That number might frighten us if we could really know just how many of these there are. The Hebrew writer said this: “For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you have need again for someone to teach you the elementary principles of the oracles of God, and you have come to need milk and not solid food. For everyone who partakes only of milk is not accustomed to the word of righteousness, for he is an infant” (Hebrews 5:12-13).
How big am I? I cannot measure my spirituality by using a collection of blood tests, a set of scales, or a tape measure, of course. But I can still measure my spirituality! My works and attainments will tell on me, good or bad, just like they will tell on the false teachers concerning whom Jesus said, “So then, you will know them by their fruits” (Matthew 7:20).
We can tell how big a person or thing is by the height. If I will examine myself, I will be able to tell how big I really am by the height of my ambitions. So many Christians have so little ambition in spiritual things. This shows with statements such as these: “It won’t do any good,” “No one will listen, anyway,” or “Sometimes I think nobody will go to heaven.” The one talent man of Matthew 25 was one of these really little people. Some of us, who ought to be building a skyscraper, are working on a shanty—when we work at all. Some of us, who ought to be big in business, are operating a hot dog stand. Big people have the attitude of the apostle Paul as expressed in Philippians 3:13-14: “Brethren, I do not regard myself as having laid hold of it yet; but one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.” How big am I?
We can also tell a big person or thing by the weight. I can tell how big I am by measuring the weight of my influence. Education, money, physical appearance, and such things have little to do with the influence to which I refer. Honesty, integrity, love of people, willingness to help, good example, and such things make up the weight of a genuine Christian’s influence. What kind of a light are you? (Matthew 5:14-16). How big am I?
We can tell how big a person or thing is by the breadth also. We can all know how big a spiritual man each is by the breadth of his service. I don’t know a better way this is shown than by observing that which identifies one who qualifies as a widow indeed. Consider the breadth of this: “A widow is to be put on the list only if she is not less than sixty years old, having been the wife of one man, having a reputation for good works; and if she has brought up children, if she has shown hospitality to strangers, if she has washed the saints’ feet, if she has assisted those in distress, and if she has devoted herself to every good work” (1Timothy 5:9-10). Would you wash the dirty feet of saints who need that done for them? How big am I, anyway?
We can also measure how big a thing is by the depth. I ought to be able to determine how big I am by the depth of my conviction. I ought to stand for all that is right and stand against all that is wrong regardless of time and place. My faith must never waver. That is a part of genuine faith (Hebrews 11:1). I ought to be able to tell whether or not I am rooted and grounded in faith and able to withstand the winds of the storms of life regardless of what they are (Colossians 2:7). How big am I?
We can also tell how big a thing is by length. I can tell how big I am by measuring the length of my love. I fear that many of us dare not to do this. Recall the extent of God’s love for us (John 3:16). How much do we love God? How much do we love each other? (Matthew 22:36-37). Remember! “Love is patient, love is kind and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant, does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered, does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things” (1Corinthians 13:4-7). How big am I?
It is a humbling experience for me to take these measurements. Will you take your measurements? Could it be that some of us who read this are more like babies than we are like mature men? How big am I, anyway?