“The more words, the more vanity, and what is the advantage to man?” – Ecclesiastes 6:11
“More” is dangerous.
Huh? Surprised? It’s OK if this comes as a shock.
All our lives, we’re told that “more is better.” Somehow, doing more drives success. Some way, accumulating more leads to happiness.
Right? It’s all about “more.” Unless, of course, these truisms aren’t true. Could this be?
“More” is actually an intoxicating, seductive word. It can lead to dangerous decisions. It can point us in directions we otherwise wouldn’t pursue.
Think about how we measure success: “I need to be more.” “I need to do more.” “I need more of (fill in the blank).” Are we ever happy?
In the 1996 comedy, “Multiplicity,” actor Michael Keaton was really desperate to get more done. So, he cloned himself. It worked for a while – until, predictably, things went south.
Life got really complicated, really fast. He ended up getting less done, chasing around putting out the metaphorical fires his clones lit. He only wound up with more problems.
He was just seeking the “mores” we typically associate with success: putting in more hours. Meeting with more people. Trying to turn “less into more.” Where does it end?
When does more become less?
“The more they increased, the more they sinned against me; I will change their glory into shame.” – Hosea 4:7
Some “mores” aren’t bad. Hoping, for example, to spend more time with family. Wanting more energy to engage in volunteer activity after work. Desiring more downtime to read Scripture, or turn to God in prayer.
The other “mores,” though, can be a lot of weight to carry. We risk never feeling fulfilled, or sufficient. We start thinking we’re only as good as our next performance.
Remember John the Baptist, in John 3:30, being asked about Jesus supposedly usurping him as the one to baptize believers? John deferred to Christ’s authority, saying “He must increase, but I must decrease.”
John is onto something here. He’s minimizing himself to glorify God. He sees what’s really important. It’s not his own prestige or ego. Rather, he’s sacrificing his stature, to aid the one whom he knew God sent to Earth to build His kingdom.
How can our lives reflect John’s belief and approach? Would we voluntarily give up money, and fame, and recognition, to further Christ’s mission?
Seek to lift up God more
Are our pursuits all a big shell game? Do we subtly believe we can do it all alone, sans God? Do we pursue “more” to depend on God less … whether we realize it or not?
Keep in mind Colossians 3:23-24: “Whatever your task, work heartily, as serving the Lord and not men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward; you are serving the Lord Christ.”
We need to become less so that God can become more. Doing so doesn’t make us lazy or unambitious. Rather, it’s about lifting up Him, not ourselves; about glorifying His kingdom, not ours.
Perhaps the “mores” we seek should be ones that bring us closer to God … rather than the next promotion, or big house, or nice car. To quote Psalms 71:14, “But I will hope continually and will praise you yet more and more.”
There’s no danger in this approach to “more.” As people of faith, we trust God’s benevolent presence and safekeeping.
Let our “mores” be more passion, and more diligence, and more focus toward being true disciples of Christ. If we were, how much “more” better could the world possibly be?
(If you’re ready to embrace Christ, He’s ready for you. Visit C Suite for Christ to join in Christ-centered fellowship with other professionals. Submit a prayer request for a pressing need in your life. Participate in a virtual prayer session to ask God to be with those who have submitted requests. Follow C Suite for Christ on LinkedIn and Facebook. Questions? Contact Paul M. Neuberger at (414) 313-8338 or [email protected].)