As our modern society tries to rebuild a paradise through politics, economics, and technologies which result in an overflow of egoism, materialism, and technologism, people only become more greedy, confrontational, competitive, exploitative, and deceptive. People are trapped with fears and anxieties. We need a life of simplicity. “This only have I found: God created mankind upright, but they have gone in search of many schemes.” (Ecclesiastes 7:29)
Focus of Life
When people lack the spiritual focus of life, they frantically seek a sense of security by relying on materials, approval, and guarantee. Simplicity means to make things simple and to focus our spirits on the core of life – God. “But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” (Matthew 6:33) This simply means to listen and to obey God and all our needs will fall into places.
Freedom & Abundance
We are so used to judge people from their appearances, wealth, and productivity. What comes next? Complexity, superficiality, and overwhelming pressure! People are loaded with psychological and physical addictions. They see abnormality as normality. When they are overloaded with burdens and selfish desires, they only live to survive and to vanish into their indulgences. They might look brilliant outwardly but pale inside. They could have nothing left but money. However, restraining our hearts from lustful desires, getting rid of evil speeches and acts, and living a life of simplicity could bring us freedom, peace, and abundance. “Then he said to them, “Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; life does not consist in an abundance of possessions.” (Luke 12:15)
Happiness & Balance
Simplicity is not asceticism but placing materials and wealth in the right place. “I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want.” ( Philippians 4:12) Simplicity brings happiness and balance; complexity brings fears and anxieties. We accept God’s gifts yet submit them to God for custody. As we share what we have with others, we are free from our self-centered anxieties. “But godliness with contentment is great gain.” (1 Timothy 6:6)
Mercy & Justice
Simplicity is not asceticism, hermitism, or idolatry. When we are not blurred by materialistic desires, our horizons will be broadened and our hearts could be more sensitive. Simplicity is not only protecting nature, but also practicing mercy and justice. “He has shown you, O mortal, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.” (Micah 6:8) Let’s share our gifts from God with others today.
Simplicity is not only going back to the basics, but also responding to the yearning of our nature—going home with the Creator, to the core of life. Eventually, we will discover the ultimate result of simplicity which is enjoying and trusting the Creator and displaying the beauty of life.
Author’s credentials: Bachelor at Overseas Theological Seminary, Master of Pastoral Counseling at Chinese Mission Seminary, Former minister at Hong Kong Christ Evangelical Church and Hiulai Church