Small Group Questions

Making Change – Less is More

Introduction:

Sometimes instead of chasing more, we need to focus in on less (and Christ) to get what we really want. That can be hard because we have been programmed to believe that more is always better. So our goal in life is more – not less… But hear this: the life you’ve always wanted, is found in less instead of more. “Better one handful with tranquillity than two handfuls with toil and chasing after the wind.” (Ecclesiastes 4:6) Today’s message teaches that having less things is actually more.

Bottom line: Less of what really doesn’t matter and more of what does.

Something To Talk About:

Have you ever paused to wonder about the things that really matter in life? Is it the things of this life? Any wealth, fame or power that we may have acquired along the way will have no significance whatsoever. It will all be meaningless. Isaiah talked about this coming reality when he said: “…The former things will not be remembered, nor will they come to mind.” (Isaiah 65:17). Can you even imagine not being able to recall anything of your life while you existed on earth?  Well that’s exactly what this verse is saying. The former things will not be remembered or even come to mind. So why do we want more? So how do we make less more? We start by:

  1.  Cutting back: Less is more, so more or less we need to cut back. In Luke 12:15, Jesus said, “Life does not consist in an abundance of possessions.” Our faith suffers not because we have too little, but because we have too much. This “too much” goes completely against our American culture and our natural inclinations. We want to say that we can never have too much. But how much is too much?  How many pairs of jeans or shoes do we really need? There are times when God says to us – “Cut back. Live on less. Trust more on me. Trust less in you.” “Don’t be obsessed with getting more material things. Be relaxed with what you have Since God assured us, “I’ll never let you down, never walk off and leave you,” we can boldly quote, God is there, ready to help; I’m fearless no matter what. Who or what can get to me?” Hebrews 13:5-6 MSG
  2. Clearing out: Why do we have so much stuff? There are many factors that contribute to our lives, our minds and our spaces becoming cluttered, but why do we hang onto it?  Did you know that hanging onto superfluous stuff can actually affect your well-being? The things you think you need, but really don’t – they’re just clogging up space in your home. Clear them out. Give these items away to charity, sell them on eBay.  Walk through your closet. If you haven’t worn it in the last year, bless somebody else with it. That way you recognize, better is one handful with tranquility then a bunch of stuff with toil and a chasing after the wind. Clear out.
  3. Paying off:  We know that less is more and stress is bad. And that includes financial stress. I have never, ever heard a single person say, “Man, my debt helps me feel so much peace. I am so thankful for high interest rate credit cards. I feel so close to God every time I see how much I’m paying in interest.  That’s why we’re going to pay it off. We can take steps in that direction, pay off our credit card, or other high interest debts.  Stress is bad. Eliminating is incredibly freeing. Better is one handful with tranquility then two handfuls with toil and a chasing after the wind.

Discussion Questions:

  1. What matters to you? How has what matters changed over the years?
  2. Would your life be different if you cut back on all your possessions? If so, how?
  3. Would your life be different if you cleared out all your extra stuff? If so, how?
  4. What “tools” has God given you to help you accomplish cutting back and clearing out?  
  5. What debt do you wish you could stop paying for?   
  6. One of the most important pieces of financial advice God offers is to get out of debt because debt creates risk in our lives. What impact has debt had in your life?
  7. How would your life change if you were completely debt free? What would you do differently?
  8. What can we do this week to have a more is less mentality in our daily lives? 

Take One Thing Home with You:

There is more joy in pursuing less than can be found in pursuing more. In many ways, this is a message that we already know to be true. So what really matters? D.A. Carson’s Memoirs of an Ordinary Pastor is the story of his father, Tom Carson, who served humbly for almost six decades as a pastor. Few ever knew his name. He never acquired any wealth, fame or accolades. But Tom Carson ministered deeply, cared for his wife, shepherded his children, studied and memorized Scripture. Most importantly, he had a vibrant, deepening experience of God and the gospel.  He lived for what really mattered, knew real, substantial joy in the midst of suffering. Compared to that, who cares whether he was wealthy and successful. Because that is not what really matters.