Scaling down.

I’ve written before about scale. As I use it, it’s about expanding impact or service. How many more could be served by our restaurant? How many more could be helped by our ideas?

If, for example, we moved from one hot dog cart to a chain of restaurants, that’s how Portillo’s has scaled up.

When a preacher grows a church and then adds publications and conferences, that’s scaling influence.

My dad, who would have been 91 today, talked about rising to your maximum level of influence. That’s about scale.

I was thinking about scale today when I read about one writer with a following who has apparently been critiquing several other writers who have a following. Some people I know like both the writer critiquing and the writers being critiqued.

I thought, “Those people are going to be left confused and frustrated.” And they may end up not knowing who to believe, who to trust, what to do.

They may end up stuck.

I understand. All the noise and debate and critique leaves me confused, too.

But here’s the thing. Distribution of words scales. Loving particular people doesn’t.

The invitation Jesus offers me is to love the people who are in front of me. Not to love as many people as possible, not to love the whole world, not to talk about loving or to condemn those who are not loving.

But to love the people that I know. To worry less about expanding platforms and more about being faithful to the people in front of me. To worry less about how this person I will never know and that person I will never know are mad at each other and more about bring peace between the people I do know. To provide support for the one person who you know who is grieving today rather than being overwhelmed by the sheer volume of grief.

It’s easy to be overwhelmed, because chaos and conflict and worry are easily amplified. Loving one another is not. That’s why we have to be so daily about it.