It is not a new thought, but in 2024, I have realized more clearly than ever that sometimes less is more. Which statement is more powerful? a) If you are the one who holds the purse of all the funding, you can probably sway people and turn things your way; or b) Money talks. Obviously, the answer is b. Two words said more than twenty-three did. Brevity brings a punch. The same principle applies when trying to sell your house. Declutter it. The less furniture you have in the room, the easier it will be to sell that room. “Less” creates the very best impression. Economy of words, economy of stuff tends to make a positive difference because it helps other people to see what you’re trying to convey.
Theologically, this principle helps us to make sense as to why God was so sparse when revealing Himself through Christ. We only have four Gospel accounts though Jesus lived thirty-three years. Question: Why did God share so little with us about what all Jesus said and did? Answer: Because less is more. Remember what Jesus said to Martha in Luke 10:41-42? He said:
“Martha, Martha, you are worried and bothered about so many things;
but only a few things are necessary, really Only One; for Mary has chosen
the good part, which shall not be taken away from her.”
It occurs to me that God was narrowing our focus – helping us to see – when He consolidated the life of Jesus into four overlapping, historical accounts written by Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. The concise writings of each biblical author are so loaded with life-giving truth that we can spend our whole lives trying to understand and unpack them. Let us thank God for giving us exactly what we need to concentrate on.
Sometimes less is more. If you narrow your activities and stop trying to do too much and stop trying to do everything, you will accomplish more. The same applies to sex: if you and your beloved abstain “for a time” for the purpose of devoting yourself to prayer, you may find yourself more bonded when you reunite (I Corinthians 7:5). I betcha if you eat less, you will have more physical energy.
I relearned this simple lesson when recently I wrote a 22-page Closing Argument that originally I had drafted in 40 pages. It astonished me as I was editing (I literally overhauled the document thirty or forty times) to see that many of my prior phrases were somewhat impotent. Yes, they had some meaning, but the fullness of the meaning was diluted by excess words, which caused a lack of precision in my wording. I decided to solve the problem by addressing the underlying structure of my argument. Getting the structure right was key to unlocking my success. Nailing down the very best Table of Contents helped enormously. Finally, I arrived by onloading way more content and offloading all the parts I didn’t need.
Question: What do you need to offload so you can focus on “the good part” in 2024? How can you live your life yet more fruitfully? If you want some help with that, I strongly encourage you to sign up for Strategic Futuring. It is seriously the most helpful process I have ever engaged. If, instead, you desire to see more vividly how every principle of wisdom traces back to Christ, then sign up for the course Developing A Christian Mind taught by Professor James Spencer, Ph.D. I think you will find that “thinking Christianly” is the most practical, sensible thing that anyone can do.
Who would have guessed that the axiom: “Sometimes less is more,” is theologically based? Theology is the study of how everything fits with everything. The more we know real theology, i.e., the wisdom of Christ, the more power-packed our lives will be.