Less Is More, More or Less
“Yet indeed I also count all things loss for the excellence of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them as rubbish, that I may gain Christ”
In reading chapter 3 of the book of Philippians you get the idea pretty quickly that the apostle Paul walks to the beat of a different drummer. Before coming to Jesus I imagine that if you walked through his house you would have been impressed by his possessions. I bet he owned the best stuff money could buy. After all, the world measures success much differently than the Lord. An old bumper sticker might sum up the worlds mentality best as the sticker said, “He who dies with the most toys wins”. The apostle Paul came to think much differently.
Paul came to understand that whatever we possess in this life will ultimately possess us. Thats why he counted everything that he had as rubbish, meaning he let everything else go so that he could be free to focus all his attention on the things of the Lord. Imagine the freedom of not having a house or car payment, no credit card bills and owing no-one at all. Paul was singing “this world’s got nothing for me” with his life long before those words became lyrics in a hit song. Don’t get me wrong and think for a second Paul was completely debt free, as he was far from it. Paul by his own admission understood the saying, “I owed a debt I could not pay, Jesus paid a debt He did not owe.” The apostle Paul would never forget the price Jesus paid on the Cross and that is why he chose to live “debt free” by the worlds standards because he understood, less is more.
Paul didn’t need an alarm system to protect his stuff, and he for sure didn’t take out insurance policy on himself or the things he owned. Stuff came to not matter much to the apostle Paul. He understood that old saying, “you’ll never see a hearse pulling a U-Haul.” Jesus said it best, “No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be loyal to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon. “Therefore I say to you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink; nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? Which of you by worrying can add one cubit to his stature? “So why do you worry about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin; and yet I say to you that even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. Now if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will He not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? “Therefore do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For after all these things the Gentiles seek. For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you” (Matthew 6:24-33).
The apostle Paul took Jesus at His word and so can you and I. When the apostle Paul penned the words of the book we now know as Philippians, he had already walked with Jesus for over 30 years. 30 years is plenty of time to decide if God is faithful to His promises. Paul knew from his own life experiences that less is more and the most content people you will ever meet in this life aren’t those who have all the world’s possessions. No, my friend, the most content people walking this earth today are those who are possessed by the One who created the world.
“But what things were gain to me, these I have counted loss for Christ”
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