As we practice simplicity, the Holy Spirit trains us to cut busyness and hurry out of our lives by remaining focused on God and God’s kingdom. We refrain from participating in activities and owning possessions that are superfluous and do not further our union with God. The result is singleness of heart, so that we are deliberate and purposeful in everything we do and say and think.
But simplicity may look different for each person and for each culture. For many of us, it means not caring about owning the kinds of things that a self-respecting thief would break in and steal. But it also means not being “holier than thou” about what we don’t own or don’t do. In and of themselves, simplicity choices mean nothing. We discard certain objects and activities because they take us away from what God created us to do: to have union with God, to hear what God is calling us to do in the kingdom and to take the next step in doing that.
Turning Toward God
Describe the last time you remember feeling hurried, torn and pulled in different directions. Hearing God Through the Word Simplicity is the alternative for those who heard Matthew 6:19-24 as part of the Sermon on the Mount. In this section, Jesus urged people to stop trying to secure themselves through reputation and wealth. Instead, they should seek God and God’s kingdom and everything else would take care of itself.
Read Matthew 6:19-21.
- What reasons does Jesus give for not storing up treasures?
- What objects or goals often become “treasures on earth” that we “store up”? How do they complicate our lives (v. 19)?
- How do these treasures get destroyed or stolen, much to our despair?
What would it look like to live with God as one’s “treasure”?