Know Why You Simplify
Why do you want to simplify your spiritual life? Is it to save time? To recover some control over your life? To get organized? Just to be less busy?
All these are worthy pursuits, but they are secondary. The primary reason to pursue simplicity in our spirituality is to maintain “the simplicity and purity of devotion to Christ” (2 Corinthians 11:3, NASB). Every other motivation for simplifying should serve this one.
So we simplify, not just to be less busy, even though we may be right to pursue that. Rather, we simplify to remove distractions from our pursuit of Christ. We prune activities from our lives, not only to get organized, but also that our devotion to Christ and service for His kingdom will be more fruitful. We simplify, not merely to save time, but to eliminate hindrances to the time we devote to knowing Christ. All the reasons we simplify should eventually lead us to Jesus Christ.
In her book Between Walden and the Whirlwind, author Jean Fleming points to the example of “simplicity and purity of devotion to Christ” in the life and letters of the apostle Paul. “The apostle Paul’s obvious center was Christ. His writings never digress from Christ. They ring with the steady, predictable hammer striking the anvil of life: life is in Christ, of Christ,through Christ, byChrist, with Christ, for Christ, from Christ. To live is Christ, and to die is more of Christ.”
The ultimate reason for all we do should be Christ. Is He the reason why you want to simplify your spiritual life?
1 Jean Fleming, Between Walden and the Whirlwind (Colorado Springs, Colo.: NavPress, 1985), p. 23.
From Donald S. Whitney, Simplify Your Spiritual Life (Colorado Springs, Colo.: NavPress, 2003).
Copyright © 2002, Donald S. Whitney. All rights reserved.