July 13, 2020

Get Small

Leaves against the Sky, D. Cornwell

The world tells us in a thousand different ways that the bigger we become, the freer we will be. The richer, the more beautiful, and the more powerful we grow, the more security, liberty, and happiness we will experience. And yet, the gospel tells us just the opposite, that the smaller we become, the freer we will be.

The gospel is for the defeated, not the dominant. …In view of God’s holiness, we are all losers (Rom. 3:23). We are all sufferers. We are all sinners. The distinction between winners and losers is irrelevant when no one can claim victory.

Instead, the gospel is for those who have realized that they can’t carry the weight of the world on their shoulders. Only when God drives us to the end of ourselves do we begin to see life in the gospel. Which is another way of saying that only those who stand in need of a savior will look for or recognize a savior. Fortunately, Christianity in its original, most authentic expression understands God chiefly as savior and human beings chiefly as those in need of being saved.

– Tullian Tchividjian
Freedom in Smallness

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Visit David Cornwell’s Photostream. Pictures used by permission.


  1. Great quote. Victory in this world’s eyes is so different from victory in the Kingdom of God’s eyes. Just look at Jesus’ victory. Death on the cross. A huge worldly defeat, but a Kingdom victory. This reminds me of the idea that we aren’t our own saviors. Or to personalize it, I am not my own savior. There is nothing I can do to save myself, and there’s nothing I need to do to save myself. Jesus did it all, does it all, and will do it all. Great freedom, indeed!!!!

  2. I suppose everyone knows that Tullian Tchividjian, the pastor of Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church in Fort Lauderdale (formerly led by Dr. James Kennedy), is the grandson of the Rev. Billy Graham.

  3. David Cornwell says

    The idea of “the bigger we become, the freer we will be” is part of the temptation, the lie that draws us all away from Christ.

    I found an interesting web site the other day called “The Minimalists” which claims just the opposite. These men are not religious as far as I know, and truthfully I haven’t studied them. But the idea that we don’t have to have the biggest, the best, and the most money is being looked at now from other perspectives. Encouraging.

    • For some minimalist, being a minimalist is what defines them. But there is so much we can learn from them as far what we value and the priority we put on what we say we value.
      The Art of Zen (blog and a book I think) is probably the best known.

  4. “I must increase, He must decrease.”

    Oops…I was just talking to some Saddleback Church Christians, and I may have that wrong. I’m not sure now.


    Great photo, David C.!

  5. To measure our worth, not by money or possessions or looks or talent or fame or success or intelligence or power or influence or other people’s opinions or even righteousness, but by the yardstick of His love — now that’s real freedom.
    Learning believe and live in that reality day to day — when the prevailing message of both the secular world and religion is that we have to do this, have that, or be like them in order to have worth — now that’s the hard part.

  6. Rob Lively says

    It’s all that easy, and all that hard. -Bruce Reyes Chow