Monday, January 15, 2007

Missional Living - Simple Living?

What a difficult topic.

Have you ever tried to simplify how you live? Consume less, save more, become debt free, sell a car?

Eat better, walk more, spend less any of these things?

It's a very hard thing to do. We live in a world, a culture and a church where blessing = more.

Now I'm not saying those who live a simple life are better than anyone who doesn't. I am saying that there sure are benefits to it. I'm exploring some of those.....and its hard. It's hard for my family to understand - it's hard for me because although I long for a simpler life - I still have "stuff" I want! But my desire is to want less, spend less and free resources to help more.

I guess one of my goals for me this year is to live this more, I struggle with what that means and how it will manifest itself. But we shall see. Will my missional life continue to include God's calling to a simpler life? I dont know, but I think it certainly might.

Does Missional Living = Simpler life? I don't believe it does for everyone, but for some I know it does.

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Jamie said...

I don't know. I think, on some level, missional living will always translate into some form of simple living. It is the inevitable result of the community and direction of missionality. Not to say it is a disqualifying point, but rather that a continued, authentic movement towards missionality will almost always lead to some leve of simplicity. Just a thought.


Jarvis said...

Simplicity offers many things, I beleive. The big one for us, as you mentioned, is that it frees-up more resources to share with others, whether it be to meet needs, or fulfill the desires of others. I recently chose to "invest" in the desire of a friend. I knew it was something that he wanted, but couldn't afford. Sitting in the woods the day after I was reflecting on how satisfying it was to be able to do this for him, which would not have been possible had my excess resources been tied-up in more stuff for me. At that point the phrase that entered my mind was this: Giving--gives meaning--to living.

Of all the things Jesus could have provided for himself while he walked the earth, he instead chose to give... and in so doing, touched the hearts of multitudes.

Simplicity is a beautiful thing...


Cindy Harvey said...

I'm currently immersed in all manner of 'simply living' reading materials. I've been convicted by the phrase 'live simply so that others might simply live'.

If I am to love our neighbor as myself, I need to look to the plight of those around the world who live with much, much less than I do. I need to look at how my consumerism affects fair trade, child labor and so forth. I need to 'want less' (my new bumper sticker) so that I will have extra resource to sew into others via aid organizations.

I was always taught that God doesn't bless one to the detriment of another. In the US, we are blessed, no doubt, but would other countries in the Third World feel they've been left behind when they look at us? I believe it is our responsibility to 'share the wealth'. My family is working very hard to get our financial feet under us in order to freely give. I believe wanting less, curbing the consumer monster is key to getting and staying out of debt. I think it's also a major part of the gospel.

BlindBeggar said...

I don't know how you can be committed to missional living and not simple living. They go hand-in-hand IMHO.