Less Is More

Main Bible Passage: Luke 12:13-21

We live in a world in which it is commonly thought that more is better. This can dominate our attitude to money and possessions, and life becomes about the accumulation of more. But the Bible tells us “better is a handful of quietness than two hands full of toil and a striving after wind.” (Eccl. 4:6) A lot of the time, less is more.

Our Bible passage is a parable that Jesus told when someone asked him to resolve an issue around their inheritance. It was a warning not to become too consumed with accumulating possessions. In the story a man does well financially and so ended up building bigger and then bigger and then bigger barns. He planned to enjoy his wealth in the future but died before getting that chance to use it. The punchline is that the man is a fool, and so is anyone else who is stores up possessions but is not rich towards God.

The point that Jesus is making is that we should have less of what doesn’t really matter and more of what does matter. Less greed and more devotion. These are two things that do not sit easily together. It is not saying that nobody should ever own any possessions, but is a check on our attitude of accumulation and a challenge to be content with a simpler lifestyle as we use our resources as part of our discipleship.

Practically speaking, three applications we might consider are:

  • Cut back – simplicity is good.
  • Clear out – do not lay up so many treasures on earth (see Matt 6:19).
  • Pay off – try to avoid taking out debt for more possessions, and pay off what debt you have (this will be spoken of further in the next message of the series).

As we do this, we can develop a new perspective on possessions, a new definition of riches and a new focus on God. Applying this Biblical principle is of benefit to both your finances and your soul.