When I came back from living in South Korea, I did some major and thorough cleaning. While in Korea, I didn’t have a lot of things and learned to get by with very little. I didn’t have a lot of clothes or shoes. I didn’t spend a lot on house decorations, I made them. Little things like that made me realize that I didn’t need three coffee mugs just for me or four different winter jackets. So I decluttered my closet, threw away a lot of old stuff, and got rid of things that I had an excess of. I got rid of so much and after some time, I realized what a stress-free feeling it was to have less. I didn’t need all the things I had. I had plenty.
Simplicity is not only portrayed in the amount of things we have or the money we spend. It’s a lifestyle. For example, I can picture Jesus and his disciples living the simplest life possible. Although the Bible does mention that one disciple was a tax collector, others were fishermen, etc., there is no doubt that they did not have an excessive amount of money to afford hotels during their travels or nice looking clothes. Luke 9:58 portrays a picture of what the cost in choosing to follow Jesus. Jesus said, ”’Foxes have holes and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay his head”’ (NIV). Our choice in following God should be shown in the way we live. And sometimes that means we might not always be living the comfortable life.
Luke 9:58 also confirms that Jesus lived the simple life. Although a king and leader in our eyes, he lived as a commoner who probably walked miles and miles to spread the Word and not even have a plan of where to sleep and what to eat. That is faith! I can understand that living the comfortable life is a safe and secure choice. I work full time and have money to pay for food and gas for my car. It’s nice to know what I will eat tomorrow. But for Jesus, His life of simplicity was solely based on His dependence for God.
There are times when I get frustrated with myself and society in our way of living. After traveling the world a bit, the US by far—in my eyes—is overly wealthy and wasteful. At the same time, the life people can have in the US is a blessing. People have escaped lives of suffering and poverty to find a life full of opportunity and hope. Now that is harder to see for someone who has been living in it their whole lives. In my case, I know I will not benefit living a life of luxury and wealth. I wouldn’t need God then because I’d have everything I need. But what I need the most I would not realize I need until I lose all that I have now. In other words, if I don’t have luxury and wealth, I find myself looking to God for support and survival.
Living the simple life pushes us to live a dependent life. We don’t need to depend on money, a company, or a car. We have God. And when we realize that God is the only thing we need, money, a career, or a car have little to no importance. Our dependence on God becomes independence from a worldly lifestyle.