Friday, June 12, 2009

Simplification


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I was asked to write on the topic of Simplicity for my E-Circle, which got me thinking. I’m sure I could write a few stories about the simplicity of life; how to stop and smell the roses; how not to sweat the small stuff, etc., but that’s not what stood out to me. Here are my thoughts on it:

Simplicity is a matter of the heart and mind. That’s where it all starts? The issues of life flow from the heart (Prov. 4:23) and we are instructed to keep the heart with all diligence.There's a reason for that.

There are three important areas involved:
1. What we allow to go on inside our minds.
2. How we perceive things other people do.
3. How we treat others.

Each one of these areas will dictate the level of simplicity we experience in our lives.
The Bible tells us that “as a man thinks, so is he” (Prov. 23:7). Is a man the way he is because of how he thinks? Or does how he thinks affect who he becomes? They’re both correct--my point is that we have control over the kind of person we allow ourselves to become. We have a choice.

To live in simplicity we must display good ‘fruit’:
We speak truth because then there’s nothing out of the ordinary to remember.
We display kindness, goodness and self-control, because then there’s nothing to regret.
We walk in faithfulness, so no man can accuse us of lack of integrity or performing for personal benefit.
We develop patience and meekness, for we all need a second chance and a helping hand sometimes.
We pursue love and joy, for they are the sweet nectar of life without which no one can exist happily.

This week I have been capturing thoughts. It’s amazing how many thoughts I experience that are not true. They’re generalizations, attacks, and accusatory thoughts. Why would I put myself down? Why would I put others down? Why would I lie to myself? Really...why would I? Why would you?

Perhaps these thoughts are trying to infiltrate our already overburdened minds with half truths and lies that bring us and others down. We have to capture those thoughts and cast them out. Don’t allow them to dwell inside of our hearts and minds. Though they may only be thoughts, they can become weapons of mass destruction when believed and acted upon. We have to recognize them for what they are and deal with them right away!!

To live in simplicity we must think the best of others:
Phil. 2:3 “Let nothing be done through selfish ambitions or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each consider others better than himself.”

I think we all have the tendency to assume things. We don’t always understand a ‘look’ someone gives us, or poorly used words, or even body language. Since we are creatures with esteem issues, we immediately think the worst.

We are not the center of the universe, and the only one caught up with you is --you.
Everyone else is the same...

So give people the benefit of the doubt and think the best in any given situation whenever possible. Not only does it bring rest, it keeps at bay worry and evil thinking. Until you know there’s an issue, don’t sweat it.

To live in simplicity, treat others well:
Phil 2:4 “Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others.”
We should be mindful of others. It’s actually healthy for us. Which one of you doesn’t feel good when you can be a blessing to others in some way? It can be a smile, a helping hand, or more...it’s up to you. It’s easy to be a blessing and it’s good for everyone involved. How can we go wrong?

Though we all want to get along and enjoy our brief existence on this planet, it so easily escapes our grasp. Life is filled with problems, confrontations, and disappointments. Each situation is unique, and yet we all experience things we’d rather not deal with. It’s a part of growing up and of shaping our character. How we handle situations in life reveals a great deal about the people we are and the kind of lives we live.

Living in simplicity is living without guile. It’s being true to yourself and to others. It’s seeing yourself as an extension of all humanity and being the best you can be. It’s honouring God and reflecting Him in every situation.

It’s simple really.

5 comments:

  1. Excellent post Carmen! I could take one paragraph and take a ton of meat from it to use:)

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  2. Wow - this is an amazing post and I love, love, love your closing sentence. So clever.

    :-)

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  3. Great post. I think it is also putting others first and only taking what is left over for yourself.

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  4. This post stirred my thoughts. You gave me a lot to thing about.

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  5. As I have said so many times before, Carmen...."you got it, Baby!!!!" I wish I saw things the way you do, and could express myself as you do. Maybe one day!!

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