Almost everywhere we turn today we are exposed to the idea that having is the key to happiness. After all, more and bigger obviously are better! There’s the idea that “a bigger and better” house, car, computer, education, job, bank account, etc is really what we “need.” And there’s the idea that these things will provide the key to joy and happiness people so desperately seek. The bigger and better mentality always is “in,” but our Lord called a rich man a “fool” who had bought into such thinking! *(cf. Luke 12:15-21).
As Christians, we should be thankful for and enjoy all of God’s blessings, never forgetting the Source (1 Tim. 6:17-19). Life is a stewardship, a sacred trust, and we should manage all that God graciously gives us with love and wisdom (Luke 16:10-12; 1 Cor. 4:1-2). The Bible also plainly teaches the priority of having a healthy work ethic (2 Thess. 3:6; Col. 3:22-25). But more and bigger do NOT always equal better. Not as far as God is concerned. It’s only too easy for God’s gifts to become man’s idols (Ezek. 14:4; Matt. 6:19-21), for stewardship to become selfishness and for things to become our religion. Hear our Lord: “Take heed and beware of covetousness, for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of things he possesses” (Luke 12:15).
In examining the dictionary, the first two meanings given for “better” are 1. “Of superior quality or excellence. 2. Morally superior; more virtuous.” More and bigger certainly were not better in Christ’s story of the rich man I just mentioned; nor are they necessarily so today with us. Sometimes, more and better cost far more than they really are worth!
The book of Proverbs repeatedly emphasizes this point. “Better is a dinner of herbs where love is, than a fatted calf with hatred” (15:17). “Better is a little with righteousness, than vast revenues without justice” (16:8). “Better to be of a humble spirit with the lowly, than to divide the spoil with the proud” (16:19). “He who is slow to anger is better than the mighty, and he who rules his spirit than he who takes a city” (16:21). “Better is a dry morsel with quietness, than a house full of feasting with strife” (17:1). “Better is the poor who walks in his integrity than one who is perverse in his lips, and is a fool” (19:1; 28:6).
The book of Proverbs was written to encourage us to make better choices, decisions made out of the wisdom of loving our Lord and seeking to please Him in every aspect of our lives. Things cannot satisfy the soul’s deepest longings. More and bigger do NOT always equal better. The Christian perspective is far better: “while we do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal” (2 Cor. 4:18). Are YOU really choosing what’s better?
We are blessed to have “better” things in Christ (Cf. Heb. 7:19; 8:6). Let’s be thankful for all His wonderful gifts (James 1:17; Eph. 1:3). By choosing what’s better ourselves, we will be a great source of blessing to our family and friends. And how such a lifestyle will bless the Kingdom! Few things could be more important than really choosing what’s better!