I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want.
The spiritual disciplines are tools that help us work with the Holy Spirit as he transforms us, through faith, to be more like Christ (see 2 Corinthians 3:18).
Jesus said, "Do not worry about your life. . . . For life is more than food, and the body more than clothes" (Luke 12:22-23). Jesus modeled a life of simplicity. Paul learned to be content in all situations.
Jesus and Paul also warned against greed. If we fall into patterns of greed, we fail to trust "our Father in heaven" (Matthew 6:9) for what we need in order to do all he wants us to do. When we lack trust in God, we try to "buy" security, but that can't be done (see Luke 12:16-21).
Grace transforms greed into gratitude, focusing on the Giver of "every good and perfect gift" (James 1:17) and not on his gifts. Simplicity keeps things in perspective. It frees us from hoarding, and we learn to accept with thanks and contentment all we are given.
We're especially grateful for God's grace and spiritual blessings to us in Christ (Ephesians 1:3). The Spirit's work in us keeps us focused on what's most important so that we can have an attitude of gratitude to God "in all circumstances" (1 Thessalonians 5:18). That's the discipline of simplicity. By God's grace, may we know the peace and joy of the simple life in Christ!
Gracious God, thank you for redeeming us. Teach us the discipline of simplicity, that we may have full life in you. Amen.
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