February 13, 2018

Values for a Simple Life

There is no magic recipe for a simple life. You can’t “follow these simple steps” and be a different person. However, there are some values that you can bring into your life that will help you in your search of a simple life…

Value 1: Recognize the need for Shalom

  • Shalom is being in right relationship with God, humans, and creation. Better spelled out it is: 
  • Acknowledging that God is Holy and in charge” of your life.
  • Recognizing, protecting, and cultivating the image of God in every single human. Which means, you honor and love everyone, not because of what they can do for you, but because they are the image of God.
  • Seeing God’s creation not as a resource to use, but as a gift to cherish.

Value 2: Let go of those things that keep you from Shalom

  • What is the biggest reason we fail at shalom? The answer: addition without subtraction. Time, energy, money, space and life are all limited resources. You can not continue to add new things into your life without subtracting others. You will have to let something go. Often, we don’t have time” to help others or make spiritual practices a priority because of our limited resources. For example, if you want to add in the spiritual practices of weekly church attendance, tithing, connection with others, compassion to the hurting, or daily prayer and bible reading you must be willing to give something up. Understand that what you give up may not be bad, it could be something you enjoy or is good”, but it has to be of equal or more value to keep this new spiritual practice moving forward.

Value 3: Add only things that will bring Shalom

  • For every new item that comes into your life, be willing to ask yourself these simple questions:
    • Does this thing (entertainment, practice, lifestyle, etc.) bring me closer to Shalom?
      • A Note about entertainment: Some entertainments are needed to help bring rest, peace, and relaxation. When choosing things to add into your life be careful not to overdo entertainment (Proverbs 12:24 [CEB] A hard worker is in charge, while a lazy one will be sentenced to hard labor.) On the opposing side however, be careful not to starve yourself of entertainment and risk burnout and exhaustion. 
    • Do I have room in my life for this?
    • What am I giving up to bring this into my life?

Value 4: Don’t give up the journey to Shalom

  • Much like Spring cleaning in our homes, from time to time we must reevaluate our priorities in this life. This process is sometimes called sanctification. 
  • 1 Peter 2:2-3 says like newborn babies long for the pure milk of the word, so that by it you may nurtured and grow in respect to salvation.” (AMP)
  • When we are learning to walk as babies we fall down. In the same way we are called and wooed by the Holy Spirit to get back up when we fall or miss the mark in our journey toward Shalom.