Daily Archives: April 12, 2018

In God’s Economy, Sometimes Less is More

Photo By Visitor7, wikimedia.

You’ve heard the old saying that less is more. Sometimes that applies to God’s provision for us as well.

In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus acknowledged our physical needs as humans for food, clothing and shelter with the promise that God will provide those things when we seek Him above all else.

“But seek first the kingdom of God, and His righteousness, and all these things will be provided for you.” Matt. 6:33 (HCSB)

Mostly, I’ve taken this to mean that sometimes I’ll have some unexpected extra money, or a bonus in the paycheck, something extra somewhere to take care of unexpected expenses. And that is often the case. But, as I’ve come to discover, sometimes God provides by taking away costs.

My wife and I recently moved to a new home and, if you’ve ever moved, you know that involves myriad unexpected costs that can crimp the budget. The move also put some extra grime on our vehicles. So when I pulled into a car wash that had just opened, I planned on the cheapest wash available.

But even before I could debate how much to spend on the wash, the attendant informed me that the company was offering free $20 washes that day as a promotion. Well, count me in on that. I called my wife, who was planning to wash her car, so she could get in on the promotional freebie.

Then later that night, we saved another $20 because one store accepted a competitor’s coupon. So in one eight-hour period, we managed to save $60! That was a much-welcome savings for our move-challenged budget.

After a while I realized that this was part of God’s provision for us. If someone had handed me three twenties, or my wife or I had received an unexpected $60 bonus, I would have immediately thought of it as God’s provision because, like most Christians, I consider God’s provision to be when He gives us more.

But sometimes God provides by giving us less – or in the case of the car washes, nothing. And sometimes that’s better than receiving the money because it removes the temptation to spend it on things we don’t need.

“When you thank God for all the things you have, remember to thank Him for all the things you don’t have that you don’t want.”

The whole less-is-more concept reminds me of the words I received many years ago from a wise older woman at my church (she was in her 90s then and lived to age 100), who dispensed wisdom in Yoda-like fashion. She told me, “When you thank God for all the things you have, remember to thank Him for all the things you don’t have that you don’t want.”

It took a few moments for that to soak in but then I got it – by the things we don’t have that we don’t want she meant diseases, accidents, pain, heartache, sorrow, hunger and all the other things we don’t want in our lives.

I know I’m guilty far too often for thanking God for His provision when He gives me stuff I need or want but forgetting to thank Him for the stuff I don’t have – I don’t suffer from hunger, I don’t have any major illnesses, I don’t have kids in jail, I don’t have any addictions and, thanks to God’s provision, I don’t have a dirty car.

Isaiah 55:8-9 tells us that God’s thoughts are not our thoughts and His ways are higher than our ways. So while my imagination is limited to solving issues with more, sometimes God provides by giving less – which results in more.