Friday, May 16, 2008

Contemplating Simplicity

We live in a consumer driven society which thrives on stuff. Our computers become obsolete the moment we take them out of the box. Our games are ‘so yesterday.’ We are all looking for the ‘next big thing.’ One day it was the Commodore 64, then it was the Nintendo 64, then it was the Playstation, PSP, Xbox. Or it was Windows, then Windows NT, or 98, then XP, now Vista. Oh wait, my old programs don’t work with Vista, so I now have to buy an updated version of a program that was working fine before, but it won’t work now, because I bought a new computer because my old computer wasn’t good enough or fast enough or small enough.

Or my car is old and I need a new one, or it’s a gas guzzler and I need to get a more economical one.

Or my house isn’t big enough. It doesn’t have the latest gadgets.

So we go to work, to make money, to spend on newer, faster, bigger, better or convenient things. And of course, we have to buy newer, fancier clothes to impress the bosses so we can get a better job, so we can make more money to spend on more things so we can keep the consumer wheel turning.

I feel like a gerbil in a cage on an exercise wheel sometimes, running but getting no where.

But I fear, lest somehow, as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, so your minds may be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ. 2 Corinthians 11:3

What does “stuff” have to do with ‘simplicity that is in Christ” you may ask? I believe it has a lot to do with it. If we didn’t let our ‘stuff’ possess us, it would be so simple to ‘give our cloak to those who have none.’ We would stop worrying about somebody stealing out stuff. (This would be if everyone came to understand the simplicity that’s in Christ. Problem right now is we live in a fallen world. We must remember to be ‘Cunning as serpent, but as harmless as doves.’) Love also protects those one loves.

There are things that just seem to be necessary, paying the electric bills, buying food, clothing, rent or mortgage payments.

And having food and clothing, with these we shall be content. 1 Tim 6:8.

But, we aren’t content. We are consumers. We are taught (churches are included) that we are successful and we are blessed if we have bunches of stuff and not just stuff, but the “newest” or “latest and greatest” stuff. Didn’t Satan tempt Jesus with stuff. “Bow down to me and all this can be yours.” Matt 4:9. We compromise. We ‘play the game.’ We do what is ‘required’ in order to get by. But, should ‘getting by’ be our goal in life? Should our goal in life to be striving for the temporary? Or should we be looking to the eternal?

I had a thought in church the other night that, “The person fighting to keep his ‘hard earned cash’ is no better than the person who is trying to get the government to take it away to give to someone who ‘needs’ it." We are all sinners in need of the Savior.

We excuse ourselves from helping the homeless (Yes, I am guilty of this) by saying, “Well they are able bodied. Doesn’t the Bible say, ‘if you don’t work, you don’t eat’?” Or we leave the welfare up to the government. “Well, they shouldn’t have gotten into that situation. They are not my responsibility.” To really love requires getting involved in someone’s life.
Love is the simplest thing, but it’s also the most difficult. Love requires involvement. Love requires commitment.

Love doesn’t concern itself with what others are doing or have done. Love is more concerned with “what can I do to help.”

Love isn’t caught up in “it’s your own fault you’re in this situation.” Rather love is more occupied with “How can I help you out.”

Love doesn’t want to give “hand outs.” Love wants to give a “hand up.”

Love doesn’t want to just live for you. Love would die for you. As a matter of fact, Love did die for you and rose again. Jesus is God incarnate. (God in the flesh) God is Love, therefore, Jesus is Love in the flesh. Jesus is the Way. To make it simple, “Know Jesus, Know Love. No Jesus, No love.”
Love also knows there are times to stay, and there are times to walk away...'brush the dust off your feet" if you will. Love isn't about winning arguments. Love is about winning hearts.

May we truly come to know the freedom that Jesus bought for us on the cross, the freedom to love.
Blessings and Grace,
Love and Laughter,
And whole bunches of hugs.


Carrie said...

You know, it is starting to look to me that nobody can understand this point until Jesus Himself gives the understanding of it. It is kind of frustrating in one way, but in its own way, makes sense.

DJ GlenMC said...

It's a sad commentary on the churches in that it's become a generator of little consumers instead of Lovers of God.
And, yes, it can be frustrating. I get extremely frustrated with myself because I fall into that category almost every day...

May we open our hearts and our eyes to the Love that is revealed only in Christ Jesus.