Dancing in the Light

I John 1:7 "If we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ, His Son, cleanses us from all sin."

Location: North Platte, Nebraska, United States

I am a christian wife, mother and grandmother. I am a licensed Social worker and a licensed Christian counselor. I am most proud of the relationships I have with God, my family and friends all over the world. I have been blessed beyond my dreams.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Sometimes Less is Best

The first week in August is a busy week in New Zealand. This is the time of year that sheep ranchers welcome new baby lambs into their flock. Last week something very strange happened, farmer Dave Callaghan's ewe gave birth to twin lambs! That alone is not so strange, but one of the lambs was born with seven legs. Yes, seven legs. The Methven locals reported Mr. Callaghan as saying that the little deformed lamb seemed very happy, but he fell down a lot. The plan is to euthanize the lamb as his deformity makes a quality life impossible. His four-legged twin, however, is doing well.
I began to think about how we as Americans, as 21st century Christians, seem to have a mindset that more is always better. We work and work and work, to make more money, so we can buy more things. And like the little lamb, we seem happy. Also like the lamb, we fall alot. We fall prey to pride. We look at all our possessions and our chests swell. We feel good about "all that we have done". We stand back and survey our wealth and then we notice that our neighbor has more. And we fall prey to greed and covetousness. In our desire to be the best and have the most, we decide we must have even more. So we take extra shifts, even if they fall during worship times. And we begin to fall---this time, we are falling down before false idols. Our things, our money, our stuff becomes our god and we can focus on nothing else. We reach the point where we are falling so much that we no longer function as God's people.
Sometimes even as the church, we get caught up in the "more is better" attitude. We invite all our friends and all our neighbors to worship with us. We watch proudly as the attendance numbers climb. During worship we look at the big wooden placards up front. We are excited that attendance is climbing as is contribution. We can't wait to get more people in. Unfortunately, our evangelism usually ends at the waters of baptism. Once the commitment is made and we have a new brother or sister, our work is done and we are off to another lost soul. We no longer study with, pray with or work with the new convert. We are happy they are there but we have moved on to other important matters. And so, we raise up generation after generation after generation of wishy-washy Christians, Christians whose faith is a surface faith, whose roots are shallow and who are in danger of falling away. I daresay our pews are filled with such brothers and sisters.
It is sad that this little lamb will lose his life, but he cannot survive in this world. He is an anomaly, a freak of nature. It was not intended he should be born this way. It is even more sad when we become "freaks" and when we begin to live outside the intentions of our Creator. We may seem to be happy but we will fall----all the time. It is sad when we boast large numbers of members ---only to note that few of them bring their bibles to church or read them at home, few of them pray as a part of their daily walk, few of them live God throughout the week, and when the struggles and trials come, the shallow Christian turns somewhere else for comfort.
No, more is not always better. Most of us would be happier and more productive and more godly if we had less. We would have more time to worship God, to work for Him, to become more like Him. And most of our congregations would be better off if we took the time, (however much time it took), to really ground our new converts, if we worked with and prayed with them until their faith was strong and their conviction deep. Even if our numbers only increased slowly, it would be better to have a few strong, convicted Christians than hundreds of shallow ones.
(Now before someone starts jumping on me about judging, please read the message of this post---it is not about deciding who is shallow and who is not, it is about making sure our new converts are fully grounded---please do not read into this what I did not write.) I often think about the children of Israel wandering in the wilderness. They did not have a lot. And yet, they were closer to God than they ever would be in history ---because they had less, they depended on God for everything, for food and water, for guidance and the scripture says even their shoes did not wear out. Less was best for them. Later on in history, they became wealthy and powerful and they began serving idols. We are similar creatures and for most of us, we will need to change our mindset. We will need to accept that sometimes less is best!



Anonymous Anonymous said...

Amen--we are such a possession oriented society. I like the tie in to "church attendance" too.
Have a great day, Neva.


9:00 AM  
Anonymous Kevin said...

Another relative truth. Appreciate it.

9:50 AM  
Blogger Liz Moore said...

We live in such excess in this world. Thanks for the sobering reminder. Great post! Blessings!

10:00 AM  
Anonymous carol said...

Another great post! I wondered when I first started reading, just where you would take us today. Amazing analogy.

Blessings today and everyday


10:22 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Neva, you are so right when times are tough is when we rely and call on our Savior's help. The israelites needed God more in the wilderness they relied on Him fully for every need but as circumstances eased up they fell away again. We are a fickle lot it seems, mankind has selective memory problems and self pops up to tear us away from our Gods love if we don't stay grounded in His word and give Him all credit for all our blessings. Good blog and it makes me think of my own failings in my worship of our Savior, thanks for reminding me.
bless you

10:23 AM  
Blogger Monalea said...

You hit the nail on the head. Funny thing....the less we had as children the more we want our children to have.


PS I once heard, "More isn't always better, it's just more."

11:25 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

A timely reminder for all of us in western civilization. God is all we need.


12:16 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I too am concerned about the 'drip dry' Chrisitans. In the last few years I have heard alot of talk about teaching them. The problem comes sometime when we aren't really teaching them or bringing in new converts. Less is not always more. It sometimes leads to less and less.

1:47 PM  
Blogger The Preacher's Household: said...

Funny, we had similar thoughts today. Good job with such elegance.

1:59 PM  
Blogger preacherman said...

Amen sister!

4:26 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

She didn't say less is always more, she said SOMETIMES less is best.

Interested Bystander

5:28 PM  
Anonymous GJ said...

The constant striving for more makes us self-serving and keeps us in need of immediate gratification. God created us for much better things!!!!! Eternity with Him to be exact.


10:13 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Neva, my dear,
this is a really great post! I am amazed at your ability to make the trivial and mundane such a practical spiritual lesson. You are truly truly gifted, my friend,


5:05 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It seems that the more we have, the more we strive to get. I am not sure whether we begin to worship our stuff as much as we become enslaved by it --and possessions and wealth are a cruel taskmaster.

Great thoughts today

6:17 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have been reading but not commenting very much. I am at a loss for words and have grwon weary with simply saying "Great post" --sometimes I think many of your readers don't comment because you do such a great job, there is nothing to add.
Just wanted to let you know
Great post! :)

7:14 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This post reminds me of the one you did on how much is enough. Sometimes less is better and sometimes we need to do more. Thank you for this post my freind


8:03 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is another below the belt one. I am frequently convicted by your posts.


8:09 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

We live in a society that teaches something totally opposite. But we Christians should be used to opposites---after all the sermon on the mount is filled with them.
This is a great post! Have a blessed week and weekend.


6:24 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Exactly----you are right. Sometimes, most times, less is best.


12:45 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great post! We are possession driven when we should be spirit driven.


8:53 PM  

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