Some symptoms of simplicity

This is the second in the series on the theme of simplicity, which is something I’ve felt strongly about for many years. Since living simply is not a particularly popular or sought after topic in most Christian circles it’s difficult to preach, but much more difficult to practice. But I’m trying to do both.

In the introductory blog post & podcast I shared what I think simplicity is, what it isn’t, and how to get it. This time I’d like to talk about two components to simplicity: Being real and living free. In other words: Sincerity and spontaneity. As with my primer, this post is in “outline-ish” form.simplicity

If you’re looking for a little more meat on those bones, you might want to look into the Podcast by the same name: Some symptoms of simplicity.

The first thing you’ll notice about these two qualities is that they are more inward character qualities than outward characteristics. They’re not “make-up” to make ourselves look better than we really do. Instead, they’re part of our essential “make up,” the way we are. Sincerity and spontaneity are valuable and desirable inward virtues. Simplicity, as I see it, is the way Jesus is, and the way he is in us.

2 Corinthians 1:12 For our rejoicing is this, the testimony of our conscience, that in simplicity and godly sincerity, not with fleshly wisdom, but by the grace of God, we have had our conversation in the world, and more abundantly to you-ward.

2 Corinthians 11:3 But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtlety, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ.

“To be simple is to fix one’s eyes solely on the simple truth of God at a time when all concepts are being confused, distorted, and turned upside down.” Dietrich Bonhoeffer

  1. Simplicity is sincerity – BEING REAL

Acts 2:46 They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts,

Romans 12:9 Love must be sincere.

1 Timothy 1:5 The goal of this command is love, which comes from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith.

Hebrews 10:22 let us draw near to God with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith…

James 3:17 But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure… impartial and sincere.

  • What is sincerity?
  • Who do you know that is sincere?
  1. Simplicity is spontaneity – LIVING FREE

2 Samuel 6:21 “I will play before the Lord.”

James 4:13 Now listen, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money.” 14Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. 15Instead, you ought to say, “If it is the Lord’s will, we will live and do this or that.” 16As it is, you boast and brag. All such boasting is evil. 17Anyone, then, who knows the good he ought to do and doesn’t do it, sins.

John 5:19 The Son of Man can only do what he sees the Father doing…

Proverbs 3:5 … don’t lean on your own understanding… and he will direct your paths.

  • What do these passages suggest about spontaneity?
  • To what/whom do you most readily defer, your calendar or your Lord?
  • How did Jesus roll? Do you see him glued to his “watch” or constantly consulting his “calendar”?
  • Are you ABCing? At his Beck and Call!
  • What’s the antithesis of a simplicity that’s sincere and spontaneous?
  • Pray to be simple! 

Other posts and podcasts of similar ilk: Introducing Simplicity

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