Simplifying Your Life: Part 3

Now that we’ve discussed why living simply is important, it’s time to dig in to the practical side of simplicity. So before you start clearing out the junk drawers and hanging up your Super-Nanny style daily schedule, stop and think about your priorities.  Write them down in a notebook or put them in a word document on your computer. And might I add that you need to be brutally honest here. When asked what your priorities are, any “good” Christian would want their answers to be like this: God, family, ministry etc. etc.  But really look at your day to day schedule and your life as it is now, with the very season you are in. What do you get excited about? What is on your mind first thing in the morning and when you lie in bed at night? Are you constantly checking your email or thinking of new projects or finding yourself at the gym in all of your spare time? Or how about creating a log of the types of food your are consuming each day? Is there alot of sugar or caffeine or junk on that list? Do you feel better when you hit your local Target and buy some really cute things that you really didn’t need? Let me be the first one to admit that I have been guilty of many of these things before. As a matter of fact, I’m sitting in a local coffee shop right now to do some more heart searching myself. It’s just me, my computer and my Bible (and a good bagel and smoothie too!) as my husband has graciously taken over all household responsibilities for a couple of hours to encourage my time to regain perspective.  When you look at your own life, you will soon begin to notice what your heart longs after if you are acting out of sin when these things are missing in your life. Of course it is not the activity or the desire for good things that is wrong.  It’s whether or not our lives are cultivating the biblical priorities that are set in place for us in God’s Word. As long as we are keeping those priorities in place, we are free to enjoy our love for good, wholesome activities and things.  I love fitness and crafts and shopping and surfing the internet but if they have pushed a priority out of the way by consuming more time than I have planned for them and if they are keeping me from loving God and cultivating my relationship with Him, than my priorities have shifted way out of whack.

Take some time today to honestly write down what your priorities are right now. Pray over that list and then ask God where they need to be.  He, of course, needs to be at the top. After looking more closely at my list and re-adjusting it to what it needs to be with the help of the book “Shopping For Time”, this is what I’ve come up with. Yours may look slightly different given the season of life you are in.

1. Grow in godliness

2.Love my family

3.Care for my physical health

4. Serve in the Church

5.Fellowship with Christians

6.Evangelize non-Christians

7. Attend to my work