Sunday, October 25, 2009

Freedom of Simplicity 2

Chapter 2 - The Biblical Roots: The Old Covenant

Simplicity of the heart can flourish only in the fertile soil of trust (in God).

The creation story is the starting point for our understanding of simplicity. We are part of the created order and hence totally dependant. We are dependant on God for even our sense of worth as individuals. Our uniqueness and dignity are rooted in our creation in the image of God. Our value is not tied to wealth, status, accomplishments, or position. It is a gift. Obviously, this wonderful truth flies in the face of the modern tendency to define people by what they produce or have.

Notice how the fourth commandment of the Sabbath rest strikes at the heart of the everlasting itch to get ahead. We find it so very hard to rest when, by working, we can get the jump on everyone else. There is no greater need today than the freedom to lay down the heavy burden of getting ahead.

At the hear of the sin of covetousness is the inner lust to have. Covetousness is the idolatrous worship of things. The problem is that we, like the alcoholic, are unable to recognize the disease once we have been engulfed by it.

My major takeaways...

It is so easy for us to measure our worth and also the worth of others based the measurements of 21st Century society rather than on the truth of God's word. Wealth, status, accomplishments, and position so easily become the yard stick. It's ingrained in us. We have to break free from this and commit to not measuring ourselves or the worth of others by these things. Unless we do so we are trapped. We must do, achieve, and become, before we can simply be. Rather it is out of being (a person of worth created in the image of God) that we should be doing.

This changes all the doing. It is no longer a striving, no longer a means by which to feel valued. It is no longer a means by which to increase, accumulate, and consume. Rather it becomes the doing that is the good works that we were saved in Christ Jesus for. Doing that brings blessing, impacts lives, and reflects the love of God. It becomes a simple doing, grounded in faith, hope, love, justice and righteousness.

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