“That's been one of my mantras—focus and simplicity. Simple can be harder than complex. You have to work hard to get your thinking clean to make it simple. But it's worth it in the end because once you get there, you can move mountains.”
Last at bat, I made an important claim that seeks to shake us to the very core: if we truly want to follow Jesus—His ways, His values, and His teachings—then part of that journey necessitates that we move towards simplicity. In this blog, we’ll go into the nitty gritty details of what simplicity looks like in practice and how to begin moving in that direction. But for now, let’s continue to ponder upon some foundational principles. It will be my contention throughout this blog that simplicity is a necessary part of living a Christian life. I don’t think simplicity is optional like the cheese on your hamburger or like the data plan on your phone or like the clothes on your back (hey, wait a minute…). I am convinced that we must deliberately decide to live simple and uncomplicated lifestyles if we truly seek to honor God in every area of our lives. The alternative is to live complicated lives that tend to commandeer our time, energy, and money from doing the things that God wants us to do.
I’ve been a pastor for over 8 years and one of the things that I often hear from people including myself is this: “I’m too busy.”
Too busy to pray.
Too busy to read the Bible.
Too busy to serve.
Too busy to spend time with the family.
Too busy to mentor others.
Too busy to share the good news.
Too busy to have family devotions.
Too busy to invite friends who are far from Christ over for dinner.
And the list goes on and on like a hamster on an exercise wheel who falls off only when they’ve reached the limit. Don’t be that hamster.
Like everybody else in this world, Christians can easily fall into the trap of complicating their lives too much that their time, energy, and money become hostages to the things of this world. And before you know it, you won’t have anything left to do the things that greatly matter to God.
Like building your relationship with Him.
Like serving others.
Like making disciples.
Like advancing the kingdom of God.
Like giving generously to those in need.
If we truly desire to live God-honoring lives, we’re going to need the time, energy, and money to do the things that greatly matter to Him. That’s why simplicity becomes a necessary part of living a Christian life. At the end of the day, simplicity will help us to do the things that God calls us to do by freeing up time, energy, and money to actually do them.
This idea isn’t easy to accept because it challenges us at our very core. For many of us, especially here in North America, we like the complicated. We like where we are. We like the kind of lifestyles that we have right now. And simplicity seeks to overthrow our complicated (and often worldly) lives in exchange for a life that is bent on advancing the kingdom of God.
Really, don't be that hamster.