This week we’ve delved into the spiritual disciplines of simplicity and giving. Like many of the paired practices in this study, these disciplines are so interconnected that you cannot ignore one without ignoring the other, or practice one without practicing the other. When we give, we practice simplicity by saying no to ourselves. When we choose a simple life, we have more to give others.
Reflecting on Simplicity and Giving
As you reflect on your own life right now, where do you feel Jesus calling you to grow? If it’s in the discipline of simplicity, identify an aspect of your life that is complicated and difficult. Is it your schedule, your pursuit of money, your shopping addiction, your use of technology? Imagine for a moment what simplicity would look and feel like. When you think of letting go of control in that area, what comes to mind? Fear? Confusion? Ask the Lord to reveal underlying emotions or any wrong beliefs that could be holding you back from the freedom He has for you in these areas. Once you've identified the underlying reasons you're holding back, bring them to the Lord to ask for His forgiveness. Ask Him to help you see the joy He has in store for in the practice of simplicity. And then identify one way you can simplify your life today.
If God is calling you to grow in the discipline of giving, identify what He’s specifically calling you to do. Is He asking you to begin giving or increase your giving to your local church? Is He calling you to sacrifice more in order to provide for the needs of a family member, friend, or missionary? Is He asking you to give more of your time and talents to a local ministry? Imagine for a moment how it would feel to become a generous giver. If there’s any fear holding you back, ask God to reveal that and help you to trust Him as you give. He will delight in answering your prayer!
The Freedom of Simplicity and Giving
We serve a God of a million second chances. Come to Him with your confessions, earnestly praying for His Spirit to work in you to produce a disciplined life of generosity and simplicity. By obeying what the Spirit prompts us to do in these areas, we demonstrate our trust that He has something good in store for us. We also experience life-giving freedom.
The disciplines of giving and simplicity point out the truth that our deepest enjoyment in life comes not from material things but from the presence of the Lord. So, as you look for ways to employ these disciplines, be encouraged by this passage from the book of Hebrews: “Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, ‘Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.’ So we say with confidence, ‘The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid. What can mere mortals do to me?’” (Hebrews 13:5–6).