But if we have food and clothing, with these we will be content. But those who desire to be rich fall into temptation, into a snare, into many senseless and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction.(1 Timothy 6:8-9 ESV)
Following Jesus needs a good balancing act between enjoying God’s blessings and being a good steward. But consider this thought: more is less and less is more. The more things we have that we don’t need, the less focus we can have for God. When we live simply, we focus on things that are immaterial rather than material things. The fewer things we have, the less we have to worry about.
The more that we have, the less happy we tend to be. Happiness after getting a new gadget is so short-lived; we need to continually get newer “toys” to continue our “high” for a while. And we can become slaves of things we aspire to have. When we are enslaved of the things we pursue, we tend to we lose who we are. We become just a profit provider to our “masters.”
The honest and unwavering truth is that God alone truly makes us happy, content, and be at peace. Nothing can take God’s place. Wherever we are going after this life, we will leave everything behind anyway. We came into the world with nothing, and we will leave this world with nothing. God is our beginning, and He is our end, too.”
So How Do You Practice a Life of “More is Less and Less is More?”
- Aim to live a content and simple life. Live based on your needs, not wants. Do not give in to the temptation to acquire more and more; it has a cost in your relationships, focus, and other crucial things that are immaterial. Of course, balance simplicity with enjoying God’s blessings, too. Learn to share God’s blessings.
- Learn to appreciate simple things. Find beauty in nature and in things money can’t buy. Close your eyes and enjoy those priceless moments in your life. Seek tranquillity for yourself from time to time. True beauty and contentment cannot be purchased by money. Thank God for those simple things we take for granted.
- Be generous with your resources – for the Lord’s work and the needy. Count your blessings and enjoy them; share them to the less fortunate people around the world. Give away or donate things you do not need anymore. Make eternal investments – give to the missions, the work of evangelism and spread of the Gospel.
- Live a healthy lifestyle. Do not take good health for granted. Good health, once lost, is priceless; do what you can now to take care of your health. Exercise regularly and have a good diet for your age.
- Do not compare and compete with your neighbours. Be happy if you see friends have new things but don’t envy them. Don’t let the desire to acquire that stuff build into you. Your measure is in God’s eyes, not what you have or don’t have. Enjoy your blessings more rather than complain about things you don’t have.
- Develop your skills and talents for the Lord. Meet real people; avoid living in a virtual [internet] world.
- Focus on things that really matter. Focus on investing in relationships, not on things. Build lasting memories with families and friends. Life is short; live a life based on enjoyment, simplicity, contentment, and generosity.
OTHER SCRIPTURE PASSAGES:
- Instead, store up treasures for yourselves in heaven, where moths and rust don’t destroy and thieves don’t break in and steal. Your heart will be where your treasure is. [Matthew 6:20-21]
- For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evils. It is through this craving that some have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many pangs. But as for you, O man of God, flee these things. Pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, steadfastness, gentleness. (1 Timothy 6:10-11 ESV)
- But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. “Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself.. (Matthew 6:33-34A ESV)
- Other Bible verses: Matthew 6:21; Matthew 5:3; Psalm 46:10; Micah 6:8; and Colossians 3:1-3.
FOR REFLECTION OR SHARING:
- Have you thought of living more simply for the Lord?
- When was the last time you enjoyed the simple things in life? How about your relationships?
- Where can you apply the “More is Less and Less is more” in your life?’
Top image credit: photo of woman praying with joy and contentment, from Lightstock.com, 49444, full user 3211339
Tom Caballes is the National Senior Administrator and a National Coordinator of the Lamb of God, a community of the Sword of the Spirit with 7 branches located throughout New Zealand. Tom also leads Kairos New Zealand, an outreach program for high school, university, and post-university aged people. Tom and his wife Mhel and their two daughters live in Wellington, New Zealand.