Let’s Keep It Simple

As a child, I thought my family had everything. I had transformers, my brother had GI Joes, and my sister had her Barbies. We always had food on the table, clothes to wear, and a house over our heads. I never remember once thinking that we were poor. Instead, I thought we had it pretty good. Ask most young children, and you’ll probably get a similar response from them.

Until kids get more of an understanding of money and start to pay more attention to what other kids have, they don’t notice how much or how little mom and dad make. There’s such a limited point of reference for them. We were no different. Once we got a little older, and especially into our teenage years, we gained a love for stuff. We wanted money, nicer clothes, and a car. Gone were the days of Transformers and Barbies, as we were now in full-on selfish mode. One thing we learned though, with more stuff comes more responsibility and the opportunity to suffer more loss.

Keep your life free from love of money, and be content with what you have, for he has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.”
Hebrews 13:5

There is a spiritual discipline that rarely gets talked about by many people, but it’s one that can reset your entire outlook on life. It’s called SIMPLICITY. Simply put, it’s living by your means without the need for extravagance. You could even say contentment with what you have.

Today, the average family in America is in $104,215 of debt. That’s not including $244,498 of housing debt. In the U.S. today, we have a total consumer debt of over $17 trillion. You read that right…TRILLION!!! Credit cards and personal loans are killing American families financially. Most of that money is spent on things like recreational vehicles, large large-screen TVs, and dining out. We are living in a country of extravagance, and we think we need it. What does the Bible say about this?

But godliness with contentment is great gain, for we brought nothing into the world, and we cannot take anything out of the world. But if we have food and clothing, with these we will be content. But those who desire to be rich fall into temptation, into a snare, into many senseless and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evils. It is through this craving that some have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many pangs.
1 Timothy 6:6–10

Imagine how happy we could be if we just lived by that mindset. What if we didn’t need to eat fancy meals, or buy a $60k car, or do a $35k home renovation? What if we ate simply, bought enough car for our needs, and were content with the home we lived in? Unfortunately, we have the Food Network telling us that we could be eating so much better. We have Motor Trend showing us all the luxury of that more expensive automobile. We also have HGTV telling us our houses are dated and ugly.

Back in 1995, a band called Big Tent Revival had a lone Christian hit song called, “Two Sets of Joneses”. It was the story of two couples with the last name of Jones, Rothchild and Evelyn, Reuben and Sue. Evelyn was born rich and Rothchild was lucky to have married her. Reuben and Sue were broke, but they had Jesus, and they’d pray each night He’d provide their needs. Due to Rothchild’s drive to be rich, he worked long hours and neglected his family. Reuben continued to be faithful to God and his family, and God provided his needs and strengthened their family. The final verse sums everything up.

“Needless to say, Evelyn left her husband
And sued him for every penny he had
I truly wish those two would find Jesus
Before things get worse than they already have”

The danger of always wanting more is that the desire for more can never be quenched. Someone or something will pay the price for that desire. There will always be someone with higher pay than you. There will always be the bigger house or the nicer car. There’s a reason why many celebrities struggle with happiness. How can you be happy when you’re never content with what you have? The lack of contentment typically leads to only one thing: greed.

And he said to them, “Take care, and be on your guard against all covetousness, for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions.”
Luke 12:15

Simply put, Jesus is saying we aren’t the sum of our possessions. We should never find value in what we have. Instead, our value should be in how God values us. He doesn’t value us by the size of our paycheck. He doesn’t puff out his chest when we buy that house we can barely afford. The kind of riches He has for us far outweigh these physical things.

But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved— and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.
Ephesians 2:4–7

God loved us enough to allow His son to die on a cross for us. He wants us with Him. When our focus is on the material things of this world, we have to put far too much energy into keeping those things in order. How much better would life be if we just lived by our means and focused on God and His mission for us to make disciples? The eternal reward would far outweigh the earthly ones.


Rick - February 19th, 2024 at 5:24am

It was all good until you started picking on HGTV… just kidding. Keep up the good work! Good Bless.

- February 20th, 2024 at 7:23am

I'm not gonna lie, Rick, I've watched my fair share too. Haha