Less is more

Good morning everyone,
Our theme for this month: “The influence of a mentor”
Our Bible verse for today: “Therefore, in the present case I advise you: Leave these men alone! Let them go! For if their purpose or activity is of human origin, it will fail. But if it is from God, you will not be able to stop these men; you will only find yourselves fighting against God.” Acts 5:38-39 (NIV)
Our thought for today: “Sometimes less is more”
The phrase “Less is more” has been around for a long time. It means that sometimes simple and less is better than more and complicated. The phrase was coined in 1947 by the minimalist architect Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, whose building designs were simple and basic, with clean lines and uncomplicated structure.
“Less is more” is a concept that can be applied to many areas of life. For instance, as a military officer I was trained to evaluate situations, make decisions, and take action. As a result, I was uncomfortable leaving issues or situations unresolved. But when I retired from the Navy and entered the world of pastoral ministry, I discovered that a different approach is sometimes wiser and better. I noticed that my pastor and mentor, Oren Teel, would often not make a decision and he would sometimes not take action. Instead, unless the situation was such that immediate action was required, he would sometimes put a decision off and take a “wait-and-see” approach about it.
He once explained to me, “I’ve discovered that many times God is already at work in a situation, bringing it to the conclusion or resolution that He wants – and that usually takes time. Therefore, the best thing for me to do is to just stay out of God’s way. I’ve found that if I will just stay out of the way and wait, God will often work the situation out for Himself.” Over more than twenty-five years since then, I’ve often found that to be true too.
That’s the advice the Pharisee Gamaliel was giving to his fellow Pharisees in Acts 5:38-39. In that case, he was referring to the activity of the disciples of Jesus and he was cautioning the pharisees that rather than precipitously acting and maybe getting in the way of God, in this case they needed to be patient and let the situation unfold for awhile to see how it worked out. And he was right. It was good advice.
The concept of “less is more” is also becoming increasingly popular with the minimalist movement in our day, which includes tiny homes, small cars, and getting rid of things that aren’t really needed. A few years ago, my wife and I went through a period of downsizing and simplifying like that. It turned out to be a blessing for us and it improved the overall quality of our lives.
The concept of “less is more” was something my mentor, Oren Teel, modeled for me with respect to leadership and problem-solving in ministry. It also applies to the accumulation of possessions, cluttered schedules, and many other areas of life. Perhaps the idea of “less is more” would be helpful in some area of your life too.
I encourage you to spend some time this morning considering if perhaps some areas of your own life are too busy, too cluttered, or maybe too complicated, and would benefit from some clearing out and simplifying. Sometimes less really is more.
God bless,
Pastor Jim
Copyright © 2022 Oak Hill Baptist Church, All rights reserved.

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