Living the simple life

 Photo by  Marco Bianchetti
What good is it for someone to gain the whole world, and yet lose or forfeit their very self?
— Luke 9:25

Last week we talked about how it is better to be generous with what we’ve been given instead of hoarding our resources since we'll only lose them eventually.

On a similar note, the Bible urges us not to seek after wealth, but rather to be content with simplicity and hard work (1 Timothy 6:6-8).

A quick note:
“Work” doesn’t just refer to a paid job, it also refers to daily tasks like mowing the lawn or washing dishes. We are to be diligent and cheerful—no matter what work lies before us. 

Why are we supposed to live this way?

Because:

We are imitators of Christ.
The Lord created the entire world with great care and attention to detail. He is present and active both in the larger story of humanity and in our individual lives. He is hard-working, utterly selfless and attentive to us (Psalm 121:3-8).

Thus, we are called to work hard and do our best in each situation. We do so as God’s representatives on earth, so that others may praise him through our actions.

Hard work also builds character and teaches us not to be lazy—expecting others to provide for us (1 Thessalonians 4:11). Practically, working hard and living within our means often means more financial security. This allows us to follow God's command to be wise stewards of our resources.

God is enough.
He will sustain us (1 Peter 5:7). We don’t need to chase after stuff or money (Proverbs 15:16). Choosing to live for God, not material gain means we have to trust that God is legitimately better than a new car or a house by the sea (Hebrews 13:5). That trust builds faith, which enables us to live even more fully for God.

We have more time.
Living a simple, quiet life leaves room for prayer and getting to know God better. It empties our lives of temptations that could pull us away from following Jesus (Hebrews 12:1-2); (1 Timothy 6:17-19).

We are happier and better for it.
So often, we forget how to slow down and let ourselves rest. But when we do, we are better off for it. When we’re not trying to jam our schedules 24/7, we have less stress and more time for the relationships and activities that matter.

I think that God has given each of us a built-in desire to work in one way or another. We gain satisfaction from a job well done.

Sadly, Satan often twists this good desire. He can convince us that living a life of ease and luxury is the key to happiness; or, he’ll turn the desire to work into an idol, creating workaholism.

However, a healthy balance of work and rest is good for our minds and bodies because God designed us to live this way (Colossians 3:23-24).

Read part seven of this series.

Ilana Reimer2 Comments