In the book Celebration of Discipline, author Richard J. Foster discusses the various disciplines that lead to spiritual growth. One of these is the discipline of simplicity.
"The Christian discipline of simplicity is an inward reality that results in an outward life-style." ~ Richard J. FosterFoster outlines three inner attitudes we must have:
- to receive what we have as a gift from God
- to know that it is God's business, and not ours, to care for what we have
- to have our goods available to others
For the outward expression of simplicity, he suggests the following 10 controlling principles (regardless of your spiritual convictions, this list is very useful):
- Buy things for their usefulness rather than their status.
- Reject anything that is producing an addiction in you.
- Develop a habit of giving things away.
- Refuse to be propagandized by the custodians of modern gadgetry.
- Learn to enjoy things without owning them.
- Develop a deeper appreciation for the creation.
- Look with a healthy skepticism at all "buy now, pay later" schemes.
- Obey Jesus' instructions about plain, honest speech.
- Reject anything that will breed the oppression of others.
- Shun whatever would distract you from your main goal.
My own desire for simplicity stems from my determination to live a life that is glorifying to God. I find the above suggestions extremely helpful in guiding me along this journey.