Living on Less: Change in Perspective


So, what might happen that would lead a person who could live on more – much more – to happily and willingly choose to live on less?

Recently, I received an email with the subject line, “You can live on less when you have more to live for.” This statement so struck me that I just stopped and pondered this profoundly thought-provoking statement. “You can live on less when you have more to live for.”

This is not a statement describing some involuntary “belt-tightening” when economic circumstances force one to reduce a preferred lifestyle. It is describing someone who voluntarily chooses to reduce his/her current lifestyle.

One of the primary objectives in financial planning is to make sure that going forward you can maintain your current lifestyle. The key word here is “maintain.”

But this statement suggests that there might actually be some reasons why a person would want to reduce his rate of personal consumption to intentionally “live on less.”

So what might happen that would lead a person who could live on more – much more – to happily and willingly choose to live on less? This quote tells us. They have found something “more to live for” – something that is more fulfilling to them than self-consumption.

As I pondered this statement, I asked myself, “What would it take for me or anyone else to willingly choose to live on less?” I concluded that in order to choose to live on less there would have to be a change in one or more of these three areas –

  • One’s Perspective,

  • One’s Priorities, and/or,

  • One’s Purpose.

A Change in Perspective

I travel a lot and in order to avoid feeling “claustrophobic” on the plane, I always try to get an aisle seat, but on occasion, I find myself “trapped” in a window seat. If there is any redemption to a window seat it is the view. Nothing gives me a more realistic perspective of life than looking at the world from 35,000 feet.

Elevation does seem to give us a substantially different perspective on the “things of earth.” If we could pile up all of Bill Gate’s and Warren Buffet’s “stuff” in one place, it might not even be noticeable from the viewpoint of 35,000 feet. How much more insignificant are things if viewed from the footstool of Heaven. If a man were to see the trappings of his current lifestyle from the perspective of Heaven, he might just conclude there must undoubtedly be something “more to live for” than the insignificant and temporary creature comforts of his current lifestyle.

Matthew 13:44-46 gives us a picture of what happens when someone’s perspective changes. Jesus said, “The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field. When a man found it, he hid it again, and then in his joy went and sold all he had and bought that field. Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant looking for fine pearls. When he found one of great value, he went away and sold everything he had and bought it.”

Their perception of the value of their current possessions was totally redefined when they discovered something they perceived to be of far greater worth. There is an old riddle, “Do you know how to get a bone out of a dog’s mouth?” The answer is, “Offer him a bone with more meat on it.”

We will gladly “live on less” when our perspective is reoriented and reveals something “more to live for.” By downsizing, we would actually be upgrading!

Call to Action: 

As men and women of Issachar, we should all be challenged to:

  1. Broaden our perspective by recognizing that there are still 4,000 languages without the Scriptures, 3,000 people groups without a missionary, over 1 million villages without a single church and 3.5 billion Muslims, Buddhists, Hindus and Secularists without Christ,

  2. Sharpen our priorities to include Kingdom investments that Extend the reach of the Church to those who have never heard, recognizing that 99.7% of our evangelical giving goes to build and maintain the existing Church, and only .3% goes to fund work where the church is Not, and

  3. Take to heart our Lord’s final command, and make as part of our purpose and calling to “go and make disciples of all nations.”

Praying that each of us as marketplace and ministry leaders will make our lives count for ZERO!

Written by Jay Link 

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