Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Give me the Simple Life

Chuck Swindoll once said, "life isn't complicated. We MAKE it complicated". Some weeks life feels more complicated than others.

There are always so many things that demand our time, our attention and our resources. We feel we can't say no to them because we have obligations to fulfil, commitments to meet and people who are relying on us.

Yet this morning I read Acts 1 and 2 (which is of particular interest during our re-enacts series) and a passaged that jumped out at me was Acts 2:44-47

"Now all who believed were together, and had all things in common, and sold their possessions and goods, and divided them among all, as anyone had need. So continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, they ate their food with gladness and simplicity of heart, praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily those who were being saved"

Here is a group of people that were living life with a simplicity of heart - a life absent of the complications that we find ourselves tangled up in.

I want that simple life - but how do I get it?

I noticed a couple of things:

1. They were together and had all things in common.

This means they cast off dissent. They were unified.

Conflicts and bickering complicate our life, especially where we know we're right and we have to make sure the other person understands that! Find the things that you have in common with others, not the things you differ on. I've said it before, and I'll say it again... let it go.. and you'll find your life is a lot simpler.

2. They freely gave their possessions to those in need.

They conquered the need for 'stuff'. They knew their needs would be met. They didn't strive to hang on to their goods that won't end up in the hearse anyway. Trying, conspiring, manouvering and striving with the circumstances of life to increase our possessions and wealth above all else complicates life. Contentment, on the other hand, brings a simplicity in life. Contentment is a peace in the soul that God will supply all my needs - regardless of the circumstances.

Some words of wisdom from a man that doesn't mince his words - Perry Noble - which are particularly relevant for our global economy right now.

3. Daily they broke bread.

This means that daily they met with God. The simple life is more about our perspective than our actual circumstances. Meeting with God daily keeps our perspective in check. It makes sure we spend our time on what makes us fruitful, not what makes us busy. It helps us keep our priorities in order, because we measure them up against the plan God has for our lives, as He reveals it to us day by day.

Meeting with God daily also keeps us focussed on what we 'should' be doing.. ie not sinning. Therefore meeting with God means there is less chance of making mistakes that have consequences that we then have to live with - thus complicating our life! Our flesh wants to do the wrong thing. The Spirit of God in us wants to do the right thing. We have to meet with God daily to make sure God's spirit dominates us, not our flesh.

4. They ate with gladness - they were thankful!

John Maxwell (yes I know - I'm quoting him again!) says people who are not thankful always want more and always think they deserve more. Yet people who are thankful are usually given more. If we're not thankful, and think we deserve more than we've got, then life gets complicated because we focus on the perceived injustice and how it's JUST NOT FAIR. Ringing in my head is Evie's song (from the early 80's).. "just be thankful for the good things that you've got, because the good things that you've got are for many just a dream"

These guys had the simple life, and for getting it right, they had favour with people and God added to their number DAILY.

We can enhance our "favour campaign" and our "just walk across the room campaign" by living the simple life.

No comments: