Simplicity ~ Introduction

For our boast is this, the testimony of our conscience, that we behaved in the world with simplicity and godly sincerity, not by earthly wisdom but by the grace of God, and supremely so toward you. 2 Corinthians 1:12 ESV

I learned about simplicity, frugality, and thrift not by choice but by necessity. My life had been completely destroyed. Everything was gone. I was alone, disabled, unemployable. I had a meager disability income with which to clothe, feed, and shelter myself. I was blessed with a rented roof over my head, and little else.

Bare Necessities

It is not all bad when life is stripped to the bare necessities. It certainly allows you to re-invent yourself.

So as not to totally panic I did some hard thinking. What did I need to survive? I needed a pot for cooking, a cup for drinking, a plate and bowl for eating, one set of utensils, one change of clothes, and water to drink, soap and a washcloth and towel. I had two feet for transportation, the library for reading and entertainment, and churches nearby.

I didn't need to eat out. I didn't need a Tim's. I didn't need entertainment for which I would have to pay.

Someone gave me a TV, so I actually had more than I needed.

A Grand Adventure in Economy

I had to quickly learn the skill set of thrift. How to shop. What to buy. How to get the best deals. In which stores I could find the best racks of ready to eat reduced-in-price produce. How to cook and feed myself. How to eat more for thrift and nourishment than for enjoyment and entertainment, and then how to make my thrifty nourishment more enjoyable. And for most other things, yard sales and second hand thrift stores became my happy hunting ground.

It was essential I make my meager income last to the end of the month. I had to, so I did. I decided to approach it as a grand adventure in economy. And that mindset and those skills saw me though, and have stayed with me. A successful month was one that ended with $5 left over. That went into the bank. When, over a period of some months, I finally had $100 in my account, I felt like a king.

Godly Simplicity

These skills are invaluable as today I seek to live a life of godly simplicity. Being thankful for what I have. Making careful consumer choices, now more by choice than by necessity. Living an uncluttered and uncomplicated life.

Of course Simplicity includes much more than just thrift. And I know that in our capitalistic consumer culture, driven by a need for continual entertainment and diversion, a world in which hurry worry and scurry are the order of the day, I still have a lot to learn and unlearn. We all have a lot to learn. And learn we must. Simplicity is essential for healthy living and true intimacy with God. Hopefully we can learn a few things together and help each other along the way.

But godliness with contentment is great gain, for we brought nothing into the world, and we cannot take anything out of the world.

But if we have food and clothing, with these we will be content.

But those who desire to be rich fall into temptation, into a snare, into many senseless and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evils. It is through this craving that some have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many pangs. 1 Timothy 6:6-10 (ESV) .