Less is More

Because I am a writer, I know the necessity of having a great editor. Mine always reminds me that “less is more.” Today, though, I saw this same reminder from God in Scripture:
“In his humiliation, he was deprived of justice. Who can speak of his descendants? For his life was taken from the earth” (Isa. 53: 7–8).

I’m not sure how to imagine “less” than the description here. Having been stripped of every last piece of dignity, betrayed by everyone closest to Him, without clothes, humiliated and mocked, and deprived of (earthly) justice, nobody’s life has ever been staged with “less” than the ending of the human life of the King of the World.

The Bible teaches us that what must overflow in abundance is our desire and dedication to Him. Yet everything else should grow less in importance (Luke 14:33). There is wisdom in our words being fewer (Ecc. 6:11, Prov. 10:19, Ps. 141:3). We are to refrain from casting our own judgment on others and instead rely on His Holy Spirit discernment (Matt. 7:1, John 16:13). We are to spend less time in obligatory ministry and more time in relationship with Him. We are to spend more of our day resting in Him and not just working for Him (Luke 10:41–42). In the Christian walk, we must be doers of the Word, (James 1:22), but not doers of the world’s agenda. Someone should see less and less of me and more and more of Him.

Unrecognizable

I remember when I first got saved, I saw someone who I hadn’t seen in a while and she actually did not recognize me, even as I stood in front of her. This was the first of many moments in which I have realized the value of dying to self. As I stand in front of the mirror today, knowing I must examine myself appropriately (Matt. 7:1-5), I look for what is still recognizable from my old life. Can I still see the old man (Rom. 6:6)? In my case, the “old man” has 26 more years’ experience than my “new” man — and I can’t go into the past to reduce that time.

Tipping the Scale

So how do I make something in the past less weighty? By tipping the scale. Not with the work of my new life. Not with the abundance of words overflowing from a heart that may or may not be speaking the truth in love. Not from a stack of ministry accomplishments, degrees, or a headcount of souls that I was instrumental in leading to salvation. You see, the scale of what’s more and less is attached to a piece of rough-hewn wood. Nothing else needs to get placed on the side of the “new” when the wood is raised vertically. It gets tipped automatically as I lay down and do nothing to fight the nails being put through my own hands in order to lose me (Matt. 16:25). For in doing so, I have thus gained it all (Rom. 8:17). “Less” became the ultimate “more” when Jesus made it so, for me.

 

Joanna Sanders is a graduate of Villanova University and Moody Theological Seminary. She’s also the founder and head writer of Colossians46.com, which provides biblical content support, writing, and editing. Most importantly, she is wife to Geoff and mom to three godly men-in-training. Her blog name “The Landing” comes from the account of the Ark resting on the mountain, creating a settled place — a landing — for man to start over, which echoes her new life in Christ.

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