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The [Real] Simple Life

rocksI realize that for most, simplicity needs no defending. We are painfully aware of the things that crowd out relevance, truth, discipline, meaning, etc. The old adage is as appropriate as ever, “less is more.”

We still need reminders. In a time where many people are forced to live more simply and perhaps even begrudgingly making changes, we can certainly take joy in what God has provided and give thanks. If all you see is doom and gloom, I would have to say you’re not looking at Him.

Sure, circumstances and situations may get bad or worse, but that doesn’t change who God is.

We can too often equate “more” with “freedom.” More money, more land, more power, more influence, more fame–these are the pursuits of a fallen world and can only provide a false sense of freedom. The truth is it may look like freedom from the outside, but so often it’s a bondage from the inside.

The person consumed with “more” can never get enough and seeks desperately to hold onto what he already has. In this time of cutting back, we can truly rejoice that the most important things become clearer and clearer.

The simplest of truth grasped and held onto certainly beats the convoluted arguments and lies we tell ourselves as we pursue selfishness and “security.” I am still amazed when I really “get” a simple truth. That little nugget has the power to profoundly change my habits, lifestyle, attitude, relationships, and more.

What happens when devastating things take place in our lives? We almost immediately and instinctively take stock of everything. What’s important and what’s not? What can I cut out so that the important things get the attention they need?

Therein lies the beauty and mystery of God. Bad stuff happens because of our own choices, the choices of others, or the enemy of our souls. But then as we grab our bearings, God so clearly shows Himself and offers a deeper fellowship. Whether we recognize it or not, it’s the same the world over.

It’s harder to simplify in the good times, but it’s just as necessary.

Jesus said that if we obey Him that we would know the truth and the truth would make us free. That’s the freedom we need to pursue. That’s the freedom we can count on.

Simplicity isn’t about living in a hut or eating tree bark. It’s about a life of obedience and submission. I can tell you one thing, I need to grab that simple truth and make it a part of me more than I already have.

What’s your take on simplicity? What simple truth has changed your life lately (or ever)?


This is a reworked post from 2009

12 Comments

  1. I say I’d like to simplify or I need to do so, but… Life happens. I’m not sure I can simplify completely.
    Bill (cycelguy) recently posted..WorthyMy Profile

    • I know what you mean. I don’t think simplicity necessarily means that we’re not busy. I think it’s more of an inward sense and reality that He gives and cultivates in us. I was reading Colossians 1 this morning and Paul’s words stuck out to me, “For this purpose also I labor, striving according to His power, which mightily works within me.” What struck me is “striving according to His power.” There is striving, but it’s not from simply pushing our way through. That gets complicated quick. It’s more about His wisdom, grace, and yes, power working in us. Thank you, Bill.

  2. Great reminder, Jason. The flesh gets in the way of our spirit. The things we long to own end up owning us. They become the bondage of our soul. We act like the monkey who’s got his hand inside the cage to get the banana but get stuck because we can’t let go of it to get it out.

    I have a new perspective on life and possessions after the last go round and fall out of the recession. Wisdom isn’t comfortable to get, but worth more than the cost.

    • I know what you mean. Thank God for His Spirit and comfort in the midst of those times. He helps us see what’s really important. I also marvel at the thought of simplifying in the good times (which I admit is so much harder to do). If we are in tune with and abiding in Him as Jesus prayed we would be in John 17, then we don’t have to wait until things fall apart to get those claws out of us. It’s a learning process for sure! Thanks Floyd.

  3. Oh this definately strikes a chord within me. I was just thinking about the same thing…things are easier when things are simplier. We really do make life complicated. Cutting back on things that aren’t really necessary also means leaving more time for the things that are…like God, family, freinds, writing, etc.
    Ed recently posted..Useless SuckingMy Profile

    • So true. It’s easier when it’s simpler, but it can be so hard to gain and keep simplicity! Good thoughts, Ed. Thank you.

  4. Simplicity…great word.

    I think of contentment when I think of simplicity. Contentment is worth more than gold. It brings freedom to give and to enjoy life.

    The only place I’ve ever found contentment is in Christ. In this world, I fall every time to wanting “more”. The drive for “more” creates discontentment with what I’ve already been given. It robs me of joy and steals my sleep.

    Much better to be content.

    • I like the equating or corresponding of simplicity and contentment. It helps us to understand the concept better in a world that seems to thrive or promote complication and ambiguity. “More” in the world is a trap because even when you get it you aren’t satisfied, but in Him, it’s a never-ending dive into His nature and character and glory. Can’t beat it! Thank you, TC.

  5. Simple is so boring, or so they tell me. I wouldn’t know as I seem to over-complicate everything! 🙂

    Like Bill, I’m not sure I could ever get to a simple life, but I do need to simplify and refocus my life around a simple truth: Without God first, everything is more difficult.
    Dusty recently posted..Unmatched VictoryMy Profile

    • Ha! I can complicate with the best of ’em myself, Dusty. 🙂 I think God’s call to lead quiet, peaceful lives in godliness and reverence (1 Timothy 2:2) has to be by His grace. As much I say anything about getting to a place of simplicity, it’s got to be through Him. He’s also got to help me uncomplicate the things I’ve complicated, some over weeks and months and some over years, but I believe in pursuing Him, He will show me more about this simplicity. Thanks for your thoughts, Dusty!

  6. Over the past 4 years, I’ve spent a lot of time reading/studying/thinking about simplicity. I’ve learned that it’s relative. What one person thinks is simple is not the same as another. I’ve also learned that it’s not so much about level of activity, though being too busy does certainly impact simplicity. But, you can be busy and still have a simple life. Simplicity has a lot to do with focus too. What it really all points to is being in the will of God. If you’re there, you’ll find a level of simplicity and contentment like none other. I also know that a simple life happens more easily the less things we have to focus on. It means having to say “no” to good things in order to fully put ourselves toward the “great” God has planned. I could go on about this topic; it’s one very personal to my journey. I hope you keep exploring it.
    Kari Scare recently posted..Balancing Quietness & ConfidenceMy Profile

    • I think you’re so right. Like anything, comparison to others is unfair and/or detrimental to us. He gives us different abilities and gifts to do different things. We are all designed as specific parts of Christ’s body and carry things differently. We need the Spirit to bear witness to our spirit that we are walking in the simplicity of heart and mind that God can honor. Great thoughts here, Kari. Thanks so much.

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