Friday, July 24, 2020
In Pursuit of a Simple Life
Jesus answered, “If you want to be perfect, go, sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.” Matthew 19:21
“Americans are rediscovering simple,” according Southern Baptist researcher, Thom Rainer. “At least they are aware that they need to rediscover simple. People are hungry for simple because the world has become too complex. The technology revolution has really become an overwhelming information revolution. We have access to more information, more products, more research, and more ideas than at any other time in history.” Postmodern Christians have become too busy and made life too complicated. We are over-committed, over-stressed, and underfunded. It is has become our nature in contemporary culture to pick up extra baggage along the way and bog down our pursuit of the simple spiritual life.
Ironically, this is not a new problem. Jesus suggested that the rich young man’s life in Matthew 19 had become too complex. He had allowed excess baggage in his life (possessions) to prevent him from simply following Jesus. In a broader sense, giving things up is the path to simplicity. Accumulating things makes our lives more complex. Often possessions are the links to our personal oppression, but too many ideas, commitments, hobbies, and unhealthy or questionable relationships are also links in the chain that holds us captive. The simple way to live the simple life is to shed anything that distracts us from seeking first the kingdom of God (Matt. 6:33). It is easy to lose focus in the pursuit of legitimate, even good things. Job, position, status, family, friends, security, and many more can quickly become the center of our attention and thus become part of the extra baggage that we must shed.