Christian simplicity..affects our management of:
Action (output) and information (input)
The way we dress
As we practice simplicity in a daily walk of faith, its peace percolates through each of those areas. This is not just a hobby, a social trend, or a feel-good undertaking. It is a response to clear scriptural imperatives running throughout the Bible as a while, both Old Testament and New Testament. These imperatives are strongly present in the Gospels, in the teachings of Jesus, where they are central. So we are not talking about minor, peripheral, take-it-or-leave-it issues, but something foundational to being a Christian at all.
The grain of our load is this vision of biblical simplicity; the sense of call in all aspects of our life. The vision has to be present. Simplicity is not easy; it requires discipline. We have to pay attention to the detail of life, think ahead, consider consequences and be aware of our environmental and political contexts, in making the choice of simplicity. When we begin the journey, what it asks of us can seem overwhelming, but as we persevere, a wonderful joy of freedom permeates our lives - a sense of burdens lifted, of more spaciousness than we had ever imagined, the light heart that is necessary to walk gracefully in Christ's strait and narrow way.
The more I think about, learn about, and study the concept of "Simplicity" from a Biblical perspective, the more I see it as truly something imperative to living the Christian life. Jesus had essentially no possessions, and while we often excuse our own over-abundance by saying "Yes, but we have families and aren't called to itinerant ministry" I don't think that means we're supposed to get and hold on to so much stuff we're unable to minister right where we are!
Come on, be honest...how often have you avoided inviting someone over for a meal because you're ashamed of your chaos? Are you too "busy" trying to deal with your clutter to go play a game with your kids, make a meal for that new mother from church, or write a letter to an elderly friend or relative?
If Jesus speaks to your heart of a need, are you able to say "Here I am Lord - send me" or would your honest response be "Well, I'd love to help, Lord, but first I need to clean up the living room/unearth the bathroom/catch up on the laundry/find the bills so I can pay them..."??
In the immortal words of Jim Elliott, who gave his life to reach the Aucas: "He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose."
All this stuff we surround ourselves with - it's JUST STUFF. None of it has any real lasting value; most of it doesn't even have much present value! It can, however, hold us back from the things of eternal value.
Ready to let go? I am!
I've identified a few more things for sale, but not advertised them yet, so will include them in tomorrow's total.