Embracing Simplicity


Jesus has been known to teach some pretty difficult & counter-cultural things. Things like “love your enemies” come to mind, and we’re tackling some of those teachings in our Wednesday night adult class this summer. Few of Jesus’ teachings are as hard for us, in our consumptive society, as Jesus’ teaching about disciples’ relationship to material possessions. Consider Luke 14.33 (ESV):

“So therefore, any one of you who does not renounce all that he has cannot be my disciple.“

As we talked in class, the call to renounce our possessions, is one that applies to all disciples. It is a call to hold our possessions loosely, and to embrace a life of simplicity. Here are some practical suggestions to help you get started.

  • Memorize Matthew 6 — a verse a day, and you’ll have it locked in your heart
  • Stop buying things you don’t need.
  • Every time you buy something new, give something away.
  • Make a habit of giving something away on a regular basis (monthly, weekly).
  • Learn to hold onto memories, not items, for their sentimental value.
  • Have a garage sale & donate proceeds.
  • Keep a budget — know where your money goes. Use online resources, old fashioned ledgers, whatever you need to keep track & plan your spending.
  • Practice a day of rest, of holy inactivity, of attentiveness to God & family.
  • De-cumulate — imagine how much simpler routines would be if there was less to put away, less to dust, less to fix?
  • De-clutter your lives — both physically (your office, your car, your house, but also your schedule).
  • Learn to say “no.” You don’t have to please everyone.
  • Develop a deeper appreciation for creation.
  • Reject anything that produces an addiction in you.
  • Enjoy things without owning them — learn to rent or borrow.
  • Seek healing from “just in case” syndrome. It causes us to hoard things “just in case” we need it in the future.
  • Consume less media — turn off the TV, radio, phone, internet more often.
  • Slow down — smile, breathe, pray. God has given you all you need.


—Brad Schrum

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