Thoughts on Simplicity

My blogging friend at Christocentricity provided some helpful suggestions for living a simple life. Check it out. As he often does, he addressed a topic of similar interest. So, let me provide some initial thoughts on living a life of simplicity.

First, there seems to be a wide-spread heartfelt yearning for simplicity. I have heard several comments from a variety of people who simply wish that their lives were simpler. We live in a fast-paced, gadget-ridden, product-demanding time, and when we stop to think about it, we realize this is not what life is supposed to really be about. We are caught up in the fast lane before we have stopped to think whether we want to be there or not. The result of it all is that we live in a distracted, diverted, and menial way – a far cry from what God would want for us.

Simplicity should allow us to be more diligent workers and devoted to what is most important. The goal of simplicity is not inactivity, poverty or mindlessness. Any bum can achieve that. The goal of simplicity is to live with purpose, allowing our lives to be directed in an intentional way to what is truly important.

There’s plenty to say on this subject, but I’ll confine my remaining thoughts to areas where I find a need for simplicity.

  1. Possessions. We have too much stuff, stuff we don’t need, stuff that takes up time, stuff that distracts us in our service to God rather than furthering it. Everything we bring into our house or possess makes a demand of us. More stuff = more demands.
  2. Activities. We take on too many activities and commitments, and our religion becomes another activity we try to squeeze in among the others. Clutter seems to yield compartmentalization whereas simplicity seems to yield a more holistic approach.
  3. Our Mindset. This is the greatest challenge I see, and it contributes to the other items on this list. The Christian’s greatest challenge is developing simplicity of mind, singleness of purpose and an overarching awareness and resting in the purposes of God. It involves a mindset consumed with the kingdom of God. The double minded man of the book of James lacks this simplicity, but the Christian strives for it. It includes continual renewal and commitment.

That’s the challenge. I certainly wouldn’t say that it is easy, but nothing worth doing ever is.

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2 Responses to Thoughts on Simplicity

  1. Rob Sparks says:

    “Compartmentalization.” That seems to be a very apt word for describing the sickness.

    Also, under the simplicity of mindset heading, it seems one of the biggest roadblocks to accomplishing this is ambition driven by bad definitions of success.

    Thanks for continuing the discussion.

    • Jeremy says:

      Very true. The world and God certainly have different definitions of success along with different definitions of goodness, virtue, and importance. Their two value-systems are completely different.

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