When Less is Really More
Elon Musk making $6.6 billion annually?
Someone owning 84 pairs of shoes?
13 cars parked in the driveway?
Our American culture is obsessed with more, more, more! We always want one more day of vacation, another piece of cake, or more money in our bank account.
So why amid a comparison culture fueled by excess did I choose “LESS” as my word for 2022?
Looking back on 2021, I was hyper focused on striving to do more: serving in the church and community, exercising, reaching out to friends and family. While none of those things are negative, I ultimately became burnt out.
What if instead of constantly striving toward more, more, more, I took a step back and evaluated where in my life I needed to do less?
John 3:30 paints a vivid picture that perhaps humans trying to do less could actually be beneficial. John expresses, “He must become greater; I must become less” (NIV).
So looking into 2022, you might ask what areas in my life I am looking to decrease, or become less.
In full transparency, here’s the beginning of the list:
Here is the thing though- it was important to identify aspects in my life I want to decrease in 2022, but it is a whole other beast to actually make improvements. For goodness sakes, I have forgotten about way too many New Year's resolutions before February even rolled around!
To combat my perennial lack of following through, certain measurables are in place to ensure I am improving on “becoming less”.
For instance, to become less structured and regimented, there is a standing agreement between myself and multiple friends that once a week with no more than an hour’s notice, they will pick me up to go do something fun- no planning allowed on my end (ironic enough I have great anxiety about this).
To help become less anxious, I am repeating 1 Peter 5:7 daily which says “Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.” For accountability, my dad is checking in weekly with this task.
The commonality in all my efforts to become “less” is accountability - friends and family keeping me honest, challenging me, and supporting my efforts. Proverbs 27:17 outlines accountability perfectly: “As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.”
IRON SHARPENING IRON!
What a powerful comparison. Just as metal can be improved by a similar metal, God calls Christians to come beside fellow Christian brothers and sisters to encourage, support, and ultimately help them draw closer to Christ.
So it sounds like what I need in my life is not LESS, but actually MORE:
What if my life’s seeming innate desire for more was not incorrect, it has just been misplaced? What if the natural tendency God places in humans is for greater relationships and increased faith?
Is this innate feeling leading to an ultimate “more”?
Easy answer: YES!
As Christians navigate the day-to-day of life on earth, we should constantly live with a focus on heaven - a more perfect future existence with our creator God. Paul mentions in Colossians 3:1-4 that Christians should constantly “set (our) minds on things above”, preparing ourselves for an eternal future full of so much MORE!
So circling back to my word of the year, maybe I should switch it from LESS to MORE. Or should I keep LESS? Or combine them in some trendy way like “LESS~MORE”?
Ultimately, the actual word is nowhere near as important as implementing guideposts in my life to constantly draw me closer and closer to my Father God.
I pray that in light of your eternal destiny, your life on earth becomes LESS worrisome and MORE peaceful.
The great thing is - it is your choice!
Choose it. Rep it. Live it.
- Andrew Gottfried