This past month’s discussion on simplicity has been one of the most eye-opening and convicting yet. Would you agree? Many of us think we’ve toned down our lives and trimmed the fat of overcommitment, but in reality, we’re still driving ourselves to exhaustion and attempting to live up to standards that don’t equal success.
We kicked off our talk on simplicity acknowledging the fact that we all need a simplicity “spring cleaning.” As a society, we seem to thrive on who can be the busiest and stretch themselves the thinnest, and that is just not what God intended for us. Susan Tolles, our Director of 4word Local Groups, shared candidly about how her pursuit for perfection overpowered her life when she was raising her children and launching her own business, until she finally realized that by letting go of her own constant comparison of herself to others, she would finally be able to find peace and joy in her life and in the things that actually matter.
But you cannot begin to even make room for simplicity in your life without first ensuring that you’re building this 2.0 version of your life on a foundation that is firmly rooted in the knowledge that simplicity without the intimacy of a strong relationship with God will never be enough. 4word founder Diane Paddison encouraged all of us to make the time to put God first, every day, even though it will likely be a challenging practice at first. It just makes sense to start your day by tuning the world out and focusing on your heavenly Father.
At the heart of the simplicity shortage plaguing us all is this simple fact: we’ve been programmed to think that busyness equals “making it.” Dear reader, that is the biggest lie. You’re not better at what you do because you’re juggling a million balls at work. You’re not the best parent in the world because you shuttle your kids to every event and go to great lengths to make sure they’re constantly looking their Pinterest best. You’re not a super Christian because you’re signing up for every class or retreat or event your church is hosting. It doesn’t matter what you’re doing. It matters why you’re doing what you’re doing.
“But I am afraid that, as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, your minds will be led astray from the simplicity and purity of devotion to Christ.” – 2 Corinthians 11:3
Are you a daughter of Christ? Do you consider yourself to be devoted to His plan for you? Then stop trying to be perfect. Stop listening to the world’s shouts to “Do more! Say yes! Sign up!” Just like Eve listening to the lies of the serpent in the garden, we all stand at a crossroads of living the life that God wants for us, or living the life that the world says we should live to be happy. True happiness that comes from God will never leave you so busy that you don’t have time for Him.
The next time you feel the urge to add “just one more thing” to your to-do list, stop and consider what significance that task or commitment actually has on your life. Will you be a better wife, mother, and person because of it? If the answer is yes, then move forward. If you don’t know or if you’re trying to ignore a voice in the back of your head saying no, then step away from the extra dose of useless busyness and leave that space in your schedule for God to use you and your time for something that does equal a successful life: being obedient to Him and His desire for you to live a life that’s pleasing to Him and full of joy for you. Doesn’t that sound simple?
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