I recently finished reading the book Simpler Living, Compassionate Life: A Christian Perspective. It is a compilation of essays and book excerpts on simplicity and especially how it relates to the Christian life.
From my perspective, there were definitely some pieces that were better than others and it was certainly not an easy read (some pretty deep stuff in there!).
Anyway, my favorite section was “The Discipline of Simplicity” by Richard J. Foster. The part that particularly caught my attention (and was favored with an earmark) was a list of ten outward expressions of simplicity (I like lists and I like practical). I thought I’d share these with you (for more info on each item, you’ll have to read the book):
- Buy things for their usefulness rather than their status.
- Reject anything that is producing an addiction in you. (Understanding that this may not be in your control, but an encouragement to reach out to loving friends who can help you on the way…)
- Develop a habit of giving things away.
- Refuse to be propagandized (cool word!) by the custodians of modern gadgetry.
- Learn to enjoy things without owning them.
- Develop a deeper appreciation for the creation.
- Look with a healthy skepticism at all “buy now, pay later” schemes.
- Obey Jesus’ instructions about plain, honest speech.
- Reject anything that breeds the oppression of others.
- Shun anything that distracts you from seeking first the kingdom of God. (This is a hard one!)
I find myself coming back to these couple of pages of the book again and again to remind myself of what it means to be a Christian and a member of the global community. It’s so easy to get caught up in all he frivolities of our culture and lose sight of what’s really important and how we ought to live our lives to make the world a better place.
I hope they are helpful to you as well, whether you adhere to the Christian tradition, another faith, or no faith at all.
Like what you read? Pass on the goodness!