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Simplify Your Life

A few weeks ago I received a large envelope in the mail from an investment company. When I opened it, I discovered a stack of ten packets – the first of which was labeled “Simplify Your Life.” I’m not kidding! The business had sent piles of paperwork for me to read so I could supposedly make things simpler!

This tied in perfectly to a Top 10 list I had just read about items people in North America over-consume. Not too surprisingly, paper ranked #5 on that list. Here are the others I discovered:

  1. Shoes – especially for women (please don’t ask my family about the shoes in my closet!)
  2. Fast food – and most of it “super-sized.”
  3. Sushi -way too much MSG for the average person.
  4. Electronics – our modern philosophy is “out with the old, in with the new.”
  5. Paper – over 5-fold more than we used 150 years ago.
  6. Water – from showers to laundry to lawn maintenance.
  7. Energy – bigger houses today need more power.
  8. Clothes – (okay, I think someone is trying to tell me something!)
  9. Furnishings – again, larger homes require more “stuff.”
  10. Money – we are a spending, rather than a saving, generation.

After reviewing this list, I realized we could all use more simplicity in our lives. But how do we start? Jesus gave us a great recommendation in Matthew 6:

“Don’t store up treasures here on earth, where moths eat them and rust destroys them, and where thieves break in and steal. Store your treasures in heaven, where moths and rust cannot destroy, and thieves do not break in and steal. Wherever your treasure is, there the desires of your heart will also be.” (verses 19-21)

When we switch to this type of heavenly perspective, the things we’ve been striving for lose much of their luster. What does all of this “stuff” really add to our lives anyway? Often the money, power, prestige, and possessions are just more items to worry about. And, of course, Jesus addressed this kind of fretting too:

“So don’t worry about these things, saying, ‘What will we eat? What will we drink? What will we wear?’ These things dominate the thoughts of unbelievers, but your heavenly Father already knows all your needs. Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need.” (Matthew 6:31-33)

Notice that unbelievers’ thoughts are dominated by mundane matters, but God gives His children an easy formula to follow: “Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously.” Two basic steps with one amazing result: “He will give you everything you need.”

It doesn’t get any simpler than that!

May this month be the start of a simpler, joy-filled journey with Jesus!

Thought of the Month

“And why worry about your clothing? Look at the lilies of the field and how they grow. They don’t work or make their clothing, yet Solomon in all his glory was not dressed as beautifully as they are. And if God cares so wonderfully for wildflowers that are here today and thrown into the fire tomorrow, he will certainly care for you. Why do you have so little faith?”

Matthew 6:28-30