God has been working on something deep in my heart this year, something I’ve been quite stubborn to relinquish. Materialism, often the opposite of living simply. God has been pushing me further and further into a life of simplicity, and I believe in my time on my DTS I’m just now starting to understand the beauty the simple life has to offer. Here are a few things I’ve learned about living in simplicity:
Experiences and memories are much more impactful and lasting than things.
Why waste my money on things I don’t need when I could travel? Go to an unforgettable concert with a friend? When I look back upon my life, the truly meaningful things are memories with those I love, not things that I bought.
The less you have the more you are forced to rely on God and on His community.
It can be easy for me to think I have control over my life as long as I can see a certain number in my bank account and feel secure in my finances or possessions. God doesn’t want this. He wants us to depend on Him in all things! He wants us to live outside of our comfort zone and depend on Him to provide for us in all things. He wants us to be open and vulnerable as a community, and to support one another. I have seen this value so beautifully demonstrated at my YWAM DTS in Mazatlan as I have watched countless people depend on God alone to help them to raise thousand of dollars for outreach and missions. What’s even cooler is how many times I have seen God come through for these people in incredible ways!
The less I have, the better I value the things I do have.
This idea is pretty simple. When I am constantly buying new things, I don’t value and respect the things I already have. I don’t take care of them the way I should, because I think I can just replace them. This is such a waste, and it is poor stewardship. God has been convicting me about stewardship and challenging me to take better care of the earth He created for me!
If I find in myself desires which nothing in this world can satisfy, the only logical explanation is that I was made for another world.
Being free of money and stuff brings a special type of freedom quite unlike the temporary happiness new stuff brings. The less you have, the less you are tied down to this world, and the easier it becomes to focus on the world for which you were truly created. CS Lewis puts it this way, "If I find in myself desires which nothing in this world can satisfy, the only logical explanation is that I was made for another world." Because the truth is, we weren’t created for this world, and the desires of this world are fleeting! And as far as building up earthly treasures, Matthew 6:19-21 states, "Don’t store up treasures here on earth, where moths eat them and rust destroys them, and where thieves break in and steal. Store your treasures in heaven, where moths and rust cannot destroy, and thieves do not break in and steal. Wherever your treasure is, there the desires of your heart will also be." This has become a key verse for me in learning to truly focus the treasures of my heart on God and His eternal Kingdom. All this being said, I’m not saying it’s bad to have earthly wealth, as long as you have good stewardship of it and are living generously, always seeking God’s direction for your life. More than anything, I personally have felt the calling to live more simply, but I know my path looks different than other people’s paths, because God has created a unique and individual destiny for each and every one of us. For me, I’m ready to accept God’s challenge to live simply and am learning more and more about what that means every day!