Less Is More

Less is more

My attitude about one area of my life was dramatically changed two years ago during a lunch conversation with a friend. We were discussing our lives, career, goals and desires. He shared with me that he was actually thinking of downsizing, buying a smaller house. His reason was that his mortgage owned him and he had bought in to the lie that having more is better.

We talked about what having more means. Having more means you have to take care of things, have more responsibilities, have more stress. The more things we acquire, the more they begin to own us versus us owning them.

This conversation was just at the right time. I had been looking at some land and was considering a mortgage to purchase it. After that discussion, I realized that owning more would actually tie me down, add stress, and add more responsibility. What I thought would make me happy actually would begin to rule me.

That day, I began to change my attitude about acquiring more things and my true need for them, especially big things. I realized that we don't need a bigger house or a new car.

If you look at the goal of an advertiser, it is to make you dissatisfied with what you have and to then believe that what they offer will make you happy. Advertising is making us a bunch of discontented, never satisfied people. "I got to have just one more thing and then I will be happy."

Does more really bring happiness? Does more actually relieve stress? From my observations, more brings more: stress, responsibilities, worries, headaches, discontentment. The list can go on.

Less is actually more. Having less lets you be free. You have less worries, less to protect, less to finance. A bigger house has never really made someone truly happy in the long run. Maybe on the outside, but the desire for a bigger house was really driven by an attitude of discontentment. "I can't be happy with what I have; I need more."

Americans are living that attitude every day. Look at the credit card debt. Typically a couple's first house was not their dream home. Now the first house is big and has a 30 year mortgage.

Examine your life and ask yourself "Where can I have less; get rid of some things? Where can I simplify my life?" Simplifying your life may be done by simply being satisfied with what you have, i.e. contentment. Simplifying your life can be done by examining what your dreams are and then asking the question, "Will this really make me happy? What are the cons of having more?"

If you want more, spend it gaining a deeper, more vibrant marriage. Get more in relationships. Get more in better health. Get more by giving to your neighbor or the downtrodden.


Proverbs 28:25
A greedy man stirs up dissension, but he who trusts in the LORD will prosper.

Ezekiel 33:31
My people come to you, as they usually do, and sit before you to listen to your words, but they do not put them into practice. With their mouths they express devotion, but their hearts are greedy for unjust gain

Romans 13:9
The commandments, "Do not commit adultery," "Do not murder," "Do not steal," "Do not covet," and whatever other commandment there may be, are summed up in this one rule: "Love your neighbor as yourself."

If you are seeking meaning in life from more things, ask God to help you be satisfied with what he has given you. Ask God to help you look to help another, not add to yourself.


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