How do you live a simpler life?
Buy things on usefulness & quality, not prestige. I learned this the hard way because I was raised with little money. That meant our default purchases were always whatever was cheapest. In the long run, it cost more to replace shoes & jeans then it would have to buy higher quality items. The flip side to this is that you can’t associate cost with quality. Previous generations paid for the information that we now have at our finger tips through customer reviews. Research before you purchase.
Reject anything that is causing an addiction in you. Watch for an undisciplined compulsion. Does the idea of missing your “thing” cause anxiety that leads to selfish behaviors? For example, your phone breaks right before a camping trip. Your buddies all have phones, in case there is an emergency. But you still opt to skip the trip, because you can’t go a whole weekend without a phone.
Learn to give things away. If you find yourself becoming attached to an item, consider giving it to someone who might need it more than you. On the flip side, don’t throw stuff away because it is easier. Think about other’s needs, even if a trip down to Good Will is out of your way.
Learn to enjoy things without owning them. Enjoy the beach without dreaming of a summer home on it. Use a library instead of buying a book. Rent a movie instead of purchasing the DVD. Take a friend up on an offer to use their family’s cabin without allowing jealousy to take root.
Appreciate creation. Take walks. Enjoy the sunset. Remember to find those moments of holy leisure.
Do your best to let your “yes” be “yes”. Jesus instructed us in Matthew 5:37 to do so. If you agreed to do a task, do it. No half-truths or flattering stories. Reject jargon whose purpose is to impress.
Reject anything that breeds the oppression of others. Again with a world of information at our fingertips, it is easy to buy fair trade items.Relevant Magazine has a ton of articles on purchasing fair trade items.
Shun anything that distracts you from kingdom principles. Job, status, possessions, family – anything that wrongfully takes center stage. Is your current job a vessel for accomplishing God’s will or yours? Is anyone in your family in the wrong place of importance (I.e. Parents who spend all their time on kids instead of each other).
Discipline of Simplicity Series
- Spiritual Discipline: Simplicity
- Simplicity: Lens of Tradition
- Simplicity: Lens of Reason
- Simplicity: Lens of Experience