Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Slow Down and Simplify

As Americans we have a tendency to complicate things. Let's face it, our lives are complex and very busy. We are doers. We run around from one thing to another at an exhausting pace. However if we were honest, I think many of us would admit that when it is all said and done we often feel like we have accomplished much, but very little that really matters. It's almost as if we are afraid to slow down.

What would happen if we made an effort to simplify our lives? What if we chose to do one less sport with the kids this fall? What if we decided that we were OK with driving an older car that was paid off, rather than working longer and harder to pay another $300 car payment? What if we stopped trying to please people who are virtually impossible to please? Maybe we would find ourselves with more time, energy and emotional bandwidth to invest in things that really matter.

Life is simple. We make it complex. That is our tendency, to complicate things.

We do this in life and we do it with our relationship with God. When I read the Bible, the gospel seems very straightforward and simple. “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life." According to this verse, there is only one thing that we must do.


God has done the rest.

He loved us so much that He gave His one and only Son. Jesus lived a life that we could never live, died to pay a price that we could never pay and rose so that we might be able to experience eternal life.

It is finished.

He did it all.

However that's not good enough for many of us. It doesn't feel right because it is too simple. Therefore we must complicate things. Believing is important but is it really enough? Can we rest in what God has already done? Isn't there more that we must do? This is where we step in and create our man made religions that are centered more on us and what we do, than on God and what He has done.

The gospel is simple and beautiful. Religion is complex and burdensome.

Jesus left us with one or two simple commands to guide us into a life full of meaning and purpose and free us from the complexity and shackles of religion.

He said "Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”

Jesus takes something that is very complex and makes it very simple. So what does this mean to us? What must we do?

Slow down and simplify.



Love Him.

Love others.

Live to the full...