Tuesday, September 16, 2008
Simple Living? Simply Living.
If you've spent more than a small amount of time in the blogosphere, you've almost certainly encountered someone whose blog is dedicated to Simple Living. I don't know if people who want to live simply blog in higher proportions than others, or if I just see their blogs more or what, but they're everywhere!
We at this household have been attempting to live simply since we got married. It's one of our core values. Usually, I don't like being part of whatever is fashionable or faddish, but living simply is a lovely way to live, and I'm happy that so many are starting to get the bug.
But now, people are starting to make RULES. To live simply, to count yourself as part of that crowd, you must:
1. make your own household cleaners
2. not own a tv, or just use it for educational programs or movies
3. never let your children play with plastic toys
4. ride your bike everywhere
5. live in a small house
...and so on.
Now none of these things are bad! Some of them I do. But the point is, why make a lifestyle all about rules? Doesn't that defeat the purpose of living simply? If I am forced to grind my own wheat for bread when I'd rather buy a loaf at the day-old bread store and use the saved time to jump with the boys on the trampoline, am I not living simply? Of course I am. It's about a lifestyle of making thoughtful, wise decisions about your time, money, and possessions. It's about an attitude of thankfulness and appreciating the small things. It's about simply living.
Now that I think about it, we humans do tend to make up rules to follow, rather than embracing a lifestyle and making decisions based upon it. Think: Pharisees in the New Testament and some churches of today. God sent some rules, but mostly He wanted His people to simply live His way. Walk in His path. He has shown us what is good and what He requires of us: to do justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with our God (Micah 6:8). Then we come along and say, "here's what that should look like. You must dress like this. Read these devotionals. Sing these songs. Read this version of the Bible. Don't do anything on this list. Do everything on this list." You get the picture. Just as a simple lifestyle will look different for every family, so will the Christian walk. (Note: this is not to say that there aren't some hard and fast truths. Sin is sin. And we ARE told to do and not to do certain things. It's the mindset I'm after.)
As we live simply, and simply live, we will continue to base our decisions on the ideas of simplicity that we hold dear. And as we walk out this faith in the Lord Jesus, we will continue to base our decisions on what He has said in His Word, and by His Spirit, and in His freedom. I hope you do the same.