Sunday, August 22, 2010

Day 22: Simplify Your Life

Welcome to Day 22 as you
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"But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things shall be yours as well." 
(Matthew 6:33)

In Richard Foster's classic book The Celebration of Discipline, he notes,
God give us the courage, wisdom and strength always to hold as the number-one priority of our lives to "seek first his kingdom and his righteousness," understanding all that that implies. To do so is to live in simplicity.
Aligning your life with the mission of Jesus requires this kind of simplicity. Both inwardly and outwardly, seeking God's kingdom first results in the discipline of simplicity.

Consider how you can simplify your life to better align your energy and resources with Jesus' mission. Our lives can become so filled with clutter that we can't focus on those things that are most important. Start de-cluttering your life.

Live Simple
The problems with clutter:
  • stuff weighs you down
  • stuff stresses you out
  • stuff is expensive to buy, store and maintain
  • looking for stuff in clutter leads to wasted time
  • clutter is a reflection of your internal state
"You accumulate clutter by being in the mindset 
of Acquiring rather than a mindset of Enough." 

DAY 22 ACTION STEP:
Consider Foster's Ten Controlling Principles

for the Outward Expression of Simplicity
  1. Buy things for their usefulness rather than their status. Buy only what you need.
  2. Reject anything that is producing an addiction in you. Learn to distinguish between a real pyschological need, like cheerful surroundings, and an addiction.
  3. Develop a habit of giving things away. If you find that you are becoming attached to some possession, consider giving it to someone who needs it. De-accumulate.
  4. Refuse to be propagandized by the custodians of modern gadgetry. Often "new" features are only a way of inducing us to buy what we do not need.
  5. Learn to enjoy things without owning them. Owning things is an obsession in our culture. Many things in life can be enjoyed without possessing or controlling them. Share things.
  6. Develop a deeper appreciation for the creation. Get close to the earth. Walk whenever you can. Enjoy the texture of grass and leaves. 
  7. Look with a healthy skepticism at all "buy now, pay later" schemes. They are a trap and serve to deepen your bondage. 
  8. Obey Jesus' instructions about plain, honest speech. Make honesty and integrity the distinguishing characteristics of your speech.
  9. Reject anything that will breed the oppression of others. In a world of limited resources, does our lust for wealth mean the poverty of others?
  10. Shun whatever would distract you from your main goal.
    Take appropriate action to embrace a lifestyle of simplicity as you seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness!

    Day 22 Missional Challenge: Consider how you can simplify your life to better align your energy and resources with Jesus' mission.

    Related Posts:
    Missional Distinctives
    One Day Without Shoes
    Missional Abandonment

    Suggested Reading:
    Simplify Your Life

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