Last week I gave 5 suggestions for simplifying life. This week I want to mention 5 "whys" for simplicity. These reasons were implied in last week's suggestions, but I think it is important to clarify the purpose behind simplicity.
1. Simplicity frees our time for what is most important. Money and stuff is not inherently evil. However, when money and stuff consumes our time, we've lost sight of our priorities. Simplicity gives us more time for worship and allows us to treasure the people God has put around us. As a pastor, I've had the unique privilege of being with people right before their death. I have never once heard a person regret the amount of money they earned or the amount of stuff they owned. In fact, they always wished they had spent more time with God and their family.
2. Simplicity frees us to follow God's calling. What if God asked you to move or switch jobs? What if God asked you to start a ministry or serve more? How difficult would it be to follow God's leading? The more stuff we have, the more we are anchored down. We are no longer free to follow the leading of the Holy Spirit.
3. Simplicity frees us to give and serve. Most people have the time to watch television and take vacations, but do not have the time to help others and take mission trips. Most people have the money to buy cars and homes, but do not have the money to assist those in need. Again, somehow our priorities have been turned upside down. We will always have the time and money for what is most important to us? What does your schedule and checkbook reveal?
4. Simplicity frees us to enjoy what we do have. Materialism always causes us to be restless and discontent. Simplicity leads to thankfulness and gratitude. We appreciate the things God has given us, but we do not obsess over them.
5. Simplicity frees us to grow in holiness. Simplicity is not the end...it is a "means" to an end. The goal of every discipline is to love God with all our heart, soul, and mind. Simplicity removes the clutter and chains slowing us down in our walk with Christ. Simplicity gives us a greater focus. We must beware of making simplicity into another form of legalism. Again, our objective is not to judge others and make us look good. Simplicity is freedom...the freedom of surrendering our life and will to God.