Today’s Scripture: Acts 2:44-47; 4:32
Henry David Thoreau once said, “Our life is frittered away by detail. Simplify, simplify.” Somehow, human beings seem to innately know that simplicity is best for our souls. We don’t often find ourselves saying, “Could you explain that to me in a more complicated way?” or “Let’s take steps to make this relationship more difficult,” or “Let’s seek a more complicated solution to this problem.” Instead, we seek to simplify our lives because we recognize simplicity as something to be valued.
Simplicity of life has been lifted up as a Christian virtue since the days of Jesus. Jesus encouraged his followers not to store up wealth on earth, but to give what they had away and to share with those who were in need. The early church followed this instruction, with the worshipping community sharing all their possessions, living, eating, and worshipping together each day.
As the years passed, the church was complicated by arguments about divinity and doctrine, power and prestige. Simplicity gave way to luxury, both in and out of the church. This trend has continued until the present. Today, it is normal for us to pack more into our lives than we can handle, focusing on status, possessions, and keeping busy. We want to experience everything and we fear that if we aren’t on the go, we will miss something exciting! Young people even have a term for this: FOMO (Fear of Missing Out).
There have been many movements throughout the church’s history which have called for a return to simplicity. I believe that we find ourselves in the midst of one of those movements today. This week, we will be thinking about a variety of ways that we might simplify our lives so that we can find more meaning in the things that we do. What areas of your life could use some simplifying?
When religion becomes complex, it is a sign that it is departing from Christ. – Ray Stedman