When less is more

In a world driven by acquisition and success, the idea of less can seem countercultural.

How can less be more? Isn’t outward show a sign of inward achievement too?

Maybe, or maybe not. Our souls may desire signs of ‘success’ but those outward signs don’t necessarily reveal true fulfilment or our state before the Lord.

Because our inner life tends to thrive on Being More as we rest in God, and stressing less about Doing More in order to be seen, lauded and applauded.

A pared down life can lead to rich abundance.

When we press pause on busyness (physical and/or mental), we create more space for God to fill with His presence.

When we step away from noise, embrace solitude and stillness for a while, there is more room to listen to God’s voice.

In this season I’m in of pulling back from many good things in order to focus on God’s best for me, I’ve seen how easy it is to feel isolated, lost and lonely from less social engagement.

It’s sadly apparent how much my soul still craves recognition, validation of my existence and reward for my labours.

Our souls feed on approval and feel starved of attention if left out of life’s flow for too long.

Early life conditioned me to seek those things at the expense of my health and sanity.

When mental health breakdown caused me to lose all sense of self, to feel splintered and fractured beyond recognition – if not beyond repair – then those deep, unsatisfied-by-the-world needs became overwhelming.

They remained that way for many years, even though I was unaware of it.

So I’m a slow learner in being still, being less visible to the world in order to be more visible to God.

These last few months have been really challenging health-wise and soul-wise, but they have also been rich with deeper meaning and understanding.

Less social media engagement and interaction has meant:

  • More time in prayer
  • More receptivity to God’s voice
  • More freedom to explore other areas of creativity
  • More awareness of who I am In Christ
  • More contemplation and listening
  • More seeing with spiritual lenses than worldly ones
  • More growth in dark places
  • More empathy for all who struggle
  • More time for family and friends
  • More discernment to make wiser choices
  • More peace and inner calm
  • More rest inwardly and outwardly

There has also been:

  • Less susceptibility to stress
  • Less striving
  • Less worrying in general
  • Less concern about being being seen and heard
  • Less agitation in being still and quiet
  • Less attachment to things and possessions

As you can see, there have been huge benefits in stilling my soul for a season. Perhaps God is calling you to do likewise? Although your experience will be unique to you.

It’s possible you may want to pursue a more minimalistic lifestyle as Joshua Becker speaks about here. Living with less can have knock-on spiritual benefits too.

Although I’ve slowed down in many ways, I’m still being inspired, still writing and sharing my words as God indicates, still trying to encourage others on the pathway of writing, life and faith.

Inspiration can be inexplicable, can’t it? Words sing into our ears from various sources. 

When I read more of those things which feed my soul rather than what is clamouring to be heard, then I sense God guiding and speaking to me as I receive more deeply.

Those words dance in my soul, resonate in my spirit, fire my imagination and inspire my thinking. Maybe you can relate?

Because when we sit with silence it speaks volumes, ushers us deeper into God’s presence and prepares our hearts to receive from Him.

And that’s a place of greater peace, openness and availability from which we can go out more willing and able to serve the needs of others.
Over to you:

Have you seen more fruit coming from doing less for a while?

What does ‘Being More’ look like for you?

Please feel free to share in the comments below. Your words matter.

12 thoughts on “When less is more”

  1. Each week, there seems to be a new lesson the Lord is teaching me through Christian blogs that I visit and my pastor's sermon. This week, it is definitely getting rid of all the "noise" in my life, so that I can hear God.

    I found myself reading your words several times over – "When we press pause on busyness (physical and/or mental), we create more space for God to fill with His presence.

    When we step away from noise, embrace solitude and stillness for a while, there is more room to listen to God's voice."

    Thank you for spurring me on to break away from distractions and to rest in Him, the only One who brings me true peace.

    Thanks for sharing!

    1. Karen, I found God tried several ways to get my attention and encourage me to take a blogging/social media break a while back. And I took some time to fully listen. These prompts you're hearing? Sounds very much like Holy Spirit whispers becoming more insistent. We are wise when we heed them. God always knows what is best for our souls, even if we don't see it straight away.
      I'll be praying for you to take the time out you need and to be at peace. Resting in Him is vital for our health and well-being. We are all the poorer for ignoring the call to come aside for a while. He really is "the only One who brings (us) true peace" and the One we desperately need. Thanks for reading and sharing your thoughts. I'd love to hear how things go for you. God bless you and be very close to you as you rest more deeply in Him. 🙂 x

  2. Beautifully expressed, JOY! Life {mind, body, soul} is always better for me when I'm doing less with the world and more with Him. You list of more and less is powerful. Thank you for sharing.

    1. Hi June. Thank you so much for contributing to the conversation here and for joining me on the journey. I didn't realise how much I was benefiting from the break until I wrote out this list! And it's true that Life in all its fullness and complexity "is always better" when we are "doing less with the world and more with Him." Amen! Bless you for sharing your insights. 🙂

  3. So very true, Joy. Thank you. This line especially resonated in my heart – "Because our inner life tends to thrive on Being More as we rest in God, and stressing less about Doing More in order to be seen, lauded and applauded." Doing more can leave us empty and unfulfilled whereas Being more in Christ fills that empty void.

    1. HI Trudy. It's lovely to see you here again! I am sure your recent journey into rest and stillness will reap huge benefits for you too. Yes, "Being more in Christ fills that empty void" which the pressure of the world leaves in its wake. Our hearts are restless until they find their rest in God. May you continue to be blessed by His peace as you begin to return to busyness once more. *Hugs* Xox

  4. I try to keep away from social media and my blog during Saturdays and Sundays. I have noticed that it enhances my life a lot. And also my relationship with God, and my son and my husband.
    Another thing I need to learn is to let go of my iPod. Both my son and husband have been complaining that I'm always bringing it along and looking at it, instead of concentrating on them.

    1. Joanna, that's a very wise thing to do. Setting boundaries is essential to protect our souls, enrich relationships and ensure we have that vital communion time with God. There is so much distraction in social media that it can leave us feeling fragmented and stressed. Switching off our mobiles, i-pads etc for a time is another way to reconnect to God as well as focus more on the people and things around us. Slowly..slowly! 🙂 x

    1. Hi Beth. Thanks for sharing your own insights here. Yes, when we make space for God it's amazing how much we suddenly hear and see Him operating in our lives! Many blessings to you too, friend. Do drop by again. 🙂

  5. Hi Joy! I have seen me become more productive when I slow down. It sounds very counter to what should happen, doesn't it? But when I'm busy, I waste time like crazy getting sidetracked and allowing distraction. When I slow down, I'm much more intentional. So much more focused!
    Hoping you are doing well,

    1. Hi Ceil! Yes, the same things happen to me too. It seems counter-intuitive but it must indicate this is the best way for us to function as God intends us to. Being overworked and overburdened is bad for our souls if we fail to heed the warning signs to slow down and rest.
      I'm glad you're seeing fruit from following your God-given instincts! Thanks very much for taking time to join me here. I really appreciate it. I'm taking each day as they come because energy is low and payback for pushing on is usually severe. But compared to how I felt a few months ago, I am grateful for small mercies and the ability to write and engage here again. Bless you for your concern and prayers, dear friend. I hope and pray you are also recovering from the medical setbacks you have had this year. 🙂 x

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