National Geographic, Animal Planet, and Discovery Channel are my favorite TV channels. I enjoy learning while watching television. One of my favorite shows is Seconds From Disaster. This program investigates the sequence of events that led to some of the world’s worst accidents. Recently they covered the Titanic, the world’s most famous and tragic ship story.

There are many small details that led to Titanic disaster. One, however, stood out among the rest: rivets. Much of the Titanic’s hull was held together by steel rivets, pounded in place by a large machine. The riveting machine could not be used on the front of the ship, so they had to hammer them in manually. Because of this, they used rivets made of and iron/slag mixture. These iron rivets were easier to handle, but they were much weaker than steel. They quickly snapped when the Titanic hit a giant iceberg. The world’s largest ship sunk in part due to small pieces of metal—pieces that would fit in the palm of your hand.

I believe the iron rivets illustrate a life principle: “small things” can lead to major disasters.

The Bible warns of this in different places. The following warning appears in the Song of Solomon:

Catch all the foxes,
those little foxes,
before they ruin the vineyard of love,
for the grapevines are blossoming!

-Song of Solomon 2:15

This verse warns to guard against the small things that can ruin relationships. Simple, day-to-day actions can build or break down our connection with love ones.

This principle goes beyond romantic relationships. Paul wrote about the danger of “small things” using yeast as an analogy. He warned that one individual’s sin could affect the entire congregation (1st Corinthians 5:6). Paul and Jesus both used the yeast analogy to warn against false teaching. Jesus told his disciples to “Beware of the yeast of the Pharisees and Sadducees.” (Matthew 16:6). Paul gave a similar warning to the Galatians (Galatians 5:9). Just slight distortions of God’s truth can lead to legalism and false religions.

Let’s guard our relationships, our lives, and our beliefs against “small things.”

See also: Meditations on Mopping