The term “simple life” means different things to different people. A matter of interpretation – so to speak. As we get going on this series, I wanted to make sure that I defined exactly what the simple life means to me and from what premise I will be covering this series.
The Simple Life defined: the simple life is a life where I am free from the bondage that comes from being entangled in a life lived for things, prestige, public opinion and entertainment addictions. It is being free to invest in relationships with others, starting first with God Himself, then moving to my family, friends and others with whom I come in contact.
It is saying that people – not things are what is important in life.
So many people have chosen to have things as a focus of their lives (sometimes deceiving themselves into thinking that the ‘things’ are enhancing their relationships – when in fact, often times they are destroying them); only to find that a life lives for material things is a life of bondage and emptiness. The Bible calls it vanity.
The purpose of life is relationships. The first and most important relationship to me needs to be that of developing a deep relationship with God. Spending time with Him; being free to slow down and be able to hear His still voice as He draws me to Himself. The most awesome thing about this relationship is that God desires a relationship with me more than I desire a relationship with Him; and has promised that if I seek for Him He will be found and when I draw near to Him he will draw close to me. When material things are my focus in life it is hard to develop a deep relationship with God.
Another relationship that is very important is that of family. When material things are held in high regard the family relationships suffer. Now, I am not saying that having nice things causes a family to suffer; but when the focus is our things – our family relationships will suffer. Many a marriage has fallen apart because of the stress that comes with debt and material worship. Many a marriage has not had the time to deepen and couples are unable to bond closely together because one (or often both) spouses are needing to hold down the jobs in order to ‘just make ends meet’.
The simple life is not a life of environmental awareness, or of fanatic frugality. It is not a life that delves into minimalism as an end to itself or is anti-government go off grid and isolate from anyone else to achieve the desired level of daily existence. (Although many of these lifestyle choices can be studied and learned from and wisdom gained in tips that help free us from materialism and it’s life draining clutches.)
No, the simple life is a life that has relationships as it priority and is willing to do anything and everything to shape daily life in order to insure that all relationships in that person’s life are able to be developed and enhanced.
In order to live a life simple and fully we must free ourselves from things that have no value and place our time, energy and resources into those who have great value – the people around us. I trust as we delved into this series that you will gain a fresh perspective on the real meaning of life and that you will find the freedom and simplicity of having a life focused on things of true value. Thanks for stopping by, I am so glad you did!