“But take heed to yourselves and be on your guard, lest your hearts be overburdened and depressed (weighed down) with the giddiness and headache and nausea of self-indulgence, drunkenness, and worldly worries and cares pertaining to [the business of] this life…”
I don’t believe that God’s word calls us to a monastic, ascetic lifestyle, but most of our lives have become hopelessly cluttered, especially living at this time in America where a constant striving for bigger and better is the siren’s song of the day. I do believe that God calls us to live simpler lives and to focus on Him and our purpose here. So, here are 7 ways, taken from Richard Foster’s life changing work, The Discipline of Simplicity:
Buy things for their usefulness rather than their status. Stop trying to impress others with your stuff and start trying to impress them with your life.
Reject anything that is producing an addiction in you. Refuse to be a slave to anything: coffee, debt, cigarettes, soda, television, chocolate, alcohol. If you notice addictive behavior in yourself, stop it.
Develop a habit of giving things away. The simple act of giving releases joy in us and, more importantly, gets rid of feelings of greed and possessiveness.
Refuse to be propagandized by modern gadgetry. Technology can make life easier, but this is not ALWAYS the case; sometimes it can lead to dependency and a noisy life.
Learn to enjoy things without owning them. One of the best church communities in history followed this to great effect: “All the believers were one in heart and mind. No one claimed that any of his possessions was his own, but they shared everything they had.” – Acts 4:32
Reject anything that breeds the oppression of others. Become more aware of the conditions the things you buy are made under. Is your purchase contributing to oppression around the world? See our post on ethical shopping for easy ways to do this.
Never underestimate the freedom of plain, honest speech. “Do not let your speech cause you to sin …” – Ecclesiastes 5:6
What ways do you simplify your life? Let us know by commenting below.