The Christian discipline of simplicity is an outward life-style as a consequence of inward reality which reflects inward simplicity of man.
Simplicity begins in inward focus and unity which liberates us outwardly.
Simplicity rejoices in the gracious provision from God. Simplicity provides us the positive perspective toward the material possession.
Of all the spiritual disciplines, simplicity is the most visible and, therefore, the most open to corruption.
The focal point of simplicity is to seek the kingdom of God.
The inward reality of simplicity involves a life of joyful unconcern for possessions.
Simplicity means the freedom to trust God at all time and for all needs of our life.
Reflecting on Simplicity
The discipline of simplicity is really visible to others. Our outward life-style is the mirror of our inward being and our spiritual maturity. Thence, whatever we do or say reflects our heart because whatever is in our heart comes out from mouth. It is hard enough have our dominion over our own tongue to control our speech. In this fallen world, honesty hardly prevails. But all these can be restored through God’s redemptive work on the Cross. As Thomas Kelly calls God the “divine center”, so he is. We can pretend no longer as well-civilized or proclaim self-righteous apart from his saving God’s saving grace. He knows all about us. We cannot overcome our lust for status and position by our own understanding, knowledge, and endeavors. Only God can help us to come out of covetousness of such possessions.
Coming out of comfort zone is not possible until our inward focus is not in God. The spiritual gift of giving to other people and restraining from showing off our possession are only made possible when we are convicted of our own daily dependence upon God (Matt. 6:13). In this showy era, God wants us to come out of comfort zone and materialistic world to witness that God wants us to live by simple child-like faith and simple life as Jesus lived.
A Light for the Path
The Word of God is infallible. God encourages us to put our hope in him. Meditation on the passage of Matthew 6:25-33, the Spirit comforts us to not worry about our life. We can do nothing by worrying. It adds more agony in already perplexed life. Therefore, we should know who we am in Christ. If our heavenly Father takes care of animals and birds, then he surely has much more concern for us. God made us in his own image and put us a step below in position than angels.
God cares for us; hence he has channeled his divine providence for his people in his sheer grace. Since then, we should worry about our life. We should know that worry over all needs only added more anxieties in our life. Indeed, we should have genuine concern for our needs. We might not have faith to walk on the water as Peter did, but we, as called by God should believe that he provides for our needs. We should learn to depend on God. We shall cultivate fruit of dependent spirit in us. Since we are ransomed and sealed by blood of Jesus Christ, we belong to him. And if we belong to him, then he also has concern for our problems. Father knows well about our needs. He knows what suits better for us than we do. Therefore, why should we worry about our life and spend our valuable time on anxieties? Rather we shall seek his kingdom and righteousness first (Matt. 6: 33).
My spiritual life is not the same in the depth and height as it was few years ago. Sometimes, I become vulnerable to anxiety and the opposite of simplicity when I go to any new places in this foreign land. In spite of my trust in God, I occasionally worry about language, culture, and sentiments of people living in the United States of America. I fear that I might hurt people without knowing what hurts them. As a result, no matter how much I try to be simple, I have not succeeded to have discipline of simplicity in this area.
As Foster says that the Christian discipline of simplicity is an inward reality that results in an outward lifestyle. I verily think what we are inside is revealed outside through our action, thoughts, and behaviors. The author’s statement truly motivated me to live a simple life which represents my inward reality. When I understand the base and foundation of my life, I come to live in simplicity, because it has much to do with the kingdom of God. When we lack simplicity and do not speak and act truly to our own life, people do not care how intelligent we are, how many college, universities, or seminaries degrees we have. The discipline of simplicity should be our lifestyle that reflects simple and gracious love and life of Christ through our lives.