You’ve heard it said less is more.
But there is a less that is less—less appealing, less desirable, less rewarding.
I came across a string of less-es in chapter one of Romans:
Don’t they sound less than enticing?
Wouldn’t living these out be living less fully?
But, guess what? There definitely have been times when I’ve been senseless. Or acted with less heart or faith than I should.
However, Paul was addressing the Romans about those who were consistently suppressing the truth and living godless lives (that’s a less that makes me shudder!). He then proceeded to list many deeds common to man, Christian or otherwise. He also warned about passing judgment upon others outside the fellowship of believers, when they were capable of “practicing the very same things” (Rm 2:1).
Those “things” he cataloged include:
being boastful and proud,
disobedient to parents,
and being deceitful.
(There’s no need to look beyond these, to other offenses noted, because aren’t we all guilty of these debasing behaviors?)
No doubt, these tendencies prove erroneous because they are hurtful toward others . . .and self. But, more than that, they make for an existence that is less than ideal, less than honorable, less than pleasing.
Call it less-living. Because living these out is to be living less exceptionally.
I don’t want to be living less. Do you? And I certainly don’t want to be living a senseless, faithless, heartless, or ruthless life.
So, in that case, it can be said that living less of these less-es is indeed more. It’s more faithful, merciful, peaceful . . . wise.
“Less” living is to live a less than full life. Far less than the abundant life our good Father intends for us to live—with passion and mercy, wisdom and faith. Because it is these that define us as His image-bearers. These are the qualities kingdom citizens reflect of their King.
Those four “less” words are in one verse (Rm 1:31). In fact, they make up the entire verse. It’s one verse that’s less than pleasing to read. But I’m sure glad it’s in there! By this valuable teaching the Spirit convicts me of the kind of less I don’t want to live. . . . . so I can be more like Christ.