Less & More
By John Duvall In In Remembrance On January 4, 2015
Consider your life as you have stepped into 2015. Is there something within your life of which you could use less? Is there something within your life of which you could use more? Some people may say they need less weight gain and more weight loss. Others may have a desire to have greater income with fewer taxes. There may be that one person who would rather have fewer enemies and more friends. In the end, I’m certain there are areas within all our lives where we could stand to do without and areas were we could all stand to gain.
Three Things We Should Spend Less Time Doing
Let us consider three things we should spend less time doing, beginning with spending less time thinking about ourselves. It is true we all must give great thought to our own obedience and faithfulness. We must, as Paul wrote, “work out our own salvation with fear and trembling” (Philippians 2:12). However, it is the selfish wants and desires in which we should spend less time. Far too often, people are tempted to think more about themselves than about others. James warns, “But if you have bitter envy and self- seeking in your hearts, do not boast and lie against the truth. This wisdom does not descend from above, but is earthly, sensual, demonic. For where envy and self- seeking exist, confusion and every evil thing are there” (James 3:14-16) We should spend less time thinking about ourselves.
Another area where we should be spending less time is in holding grudges. There are times when we are tempted to carry around wrong doing as if it was more precious than gold. We do not forget what others have done to us. We hold a grudge as if our life depended upon it. There may even be times when the action against us is more of a slight or neglect rather than an actual sin. However, we are willing to hold the grudge but unwilling to talk to the person who we feel has wronged us or slighted us. We need to spend less time dwelling on the mistreatment or wrong doing of others against us.
We should also spend less time following the examples of the world. The apostle Paul told the saints in Rome not to be conformed to the world (Romans 12:1-2). We must choose not follow the world’s examples. The world’s attitude towards God and obedience to His word are not the soul saving attitude seen in God’s word.
Three Things to Spend More Time Doing
As brethren in Christ, we need to spend more time thinking about one another. The apostle Paul, in his letter to the church in Philippi, wrote, “Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself. Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others” (Philippians 2:3-4). Being this thoughtful of other Christians requires our interest as well as our time. We must not allow our busy lives to interfere with us spending more time thinking about others.
Prayer is another area where in we should be spending more time. Through prayer we express our requests toward God. The apostle Paul wrote, “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God” (Philippians 4:6). Some of these requests may pertain to the forgiveness of our sins, our daily needs, the needs of others, etc. In addition to expressing our needs to the Lord, we also spend time thanking the Lord for all He has done for us. Let us determine to spend more time praying to God every day.
We must also determine to spend more time in Bible study. Studying the Bible is how we come to know God’s word and how we continue to know God’s word. However, Bible study enables more than simply knowing God’s word. Bible study establishes and maintains our faith in God. In such a simple statement, the apostle Paul stated a great truth, “So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” (Romans 10:17) Determining to spend more time in daily study of God’s word is a crucial decision which every Christian must make.
Are you willing to spend less time thinking about yourself, less time thinking about how others have wronged you, and less time following the examples of the world? Are you willing to spend more time thinking about others, more time praying to God, and more time studying God’s word? If so, then your life as a Christians will grow in strength, knowledge, and love.
Are there other areas in your life which should lessen and areas which should increase? Take a few minutes and reflect upon last year’s life and the changes you should make for 2015.
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