“For our boast is this, the testimony of our conscience, that we behaved in the world with simplicity and godly sincerity, not by earthly wisdom but by the grace of God, and supremely so toward you.” — 2 Corinthians 1:12 (ESV)
The Discipline of Simplicity
Often, we are kept from living lives marked by the joy and peace of our Heavenly Father because of our continual pursuit for more. Humanity’s first sin was pursuing more than God intended for us, and the enemy continues to entice us with that temptation today. A core value of the world is more: more money, more fame, more friends, more success, more happiness, more possessions, more of anything, because we feel dissatisfied with our lives. We are constantly grabbing for that which will never fully satisfy in the present or lead us to a lifestyle of continual satisfaction.
Paul writes in 2 Corinthians 1:12 (ESV), “For our boast is this, the testimony of our conscience, that we behaved in the world with simplicity and godly sincerity, not by earthly wisdom but by the grace of God, and supremely so toward you.” Simplicity is a God-given discipline that prunes the dead branches of waste that effectually deplete us of the energy, time and provision with which God has blessed us. When we make the decision to stop pursuing more, we step in line with the Spirit and place our trust and faith in God rather than our own understanding.
You see, at the core of a continual pursuit for more is a lack of faith in God’s goodness. If we truly believed God provides all we need, we would never step outside His provision and strive for more. Adam and Eve questioned God’s goodness and thereby brought the destructive nature of sin into humanity. They decided for themselves what was enough rather than trusting God to know what was best for them.
Our own forbidden fruit takes on all sorts of forms. We work our fingers to the bone for a taste of greater success all the while forgetting who it is we are to work for in the first place. We take God-given financial provision and waste it on worldly pleasures rather than investing it into that which will actually satisfy us. We take what we receive from God and use it to finance self-indulgence rather than sharing it with those whom God wanted to use us to bless from the beginning. And we take the valuable resource of time and waste it on pursuits that were never God’s intention to begin with.
We desperately need transformation and training in the discipline of simplicity. In order to experience joy and peace that transcends circumstances and position ourselves through faithfulness to receive more of what God longs to give, we must offer our time, energy and money to God and follow the guidance of His Spirit and Word.
Matthew 6:21 (ESV) says, “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” Take time in prayer placing all your treasure in the only place that can offer you eternal investment: with your Heavenly Father.
— Craig Denison, First 15
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