Episode 3: Simplicity
The spiritual discipline of simplicity is often tied up with money or belongings, and specifically the idea that, if we are to follow Christ, then we have to give up everything we own (at least the good stuff!) In this episode we talk about how that is not really it. It's far deeper and much more simple.
Think before you speak. Pause before answering. Let your yes or no stand, but make sure you want to say yes first. Try not to make excuses for yourself. Let your actions or the situation be what it is. Don’t apologize unnecessarily.
Clean out an area of your home. Give things away. Look around and see if there’s anything you do not use (or like!) Get rid of it. If someone else likes it, give it to them (maybe even if you’d rather keep it for yourself.
Try and go the whole month without buying anything but necessities. Buy things like toothpaste and dish soap in advance so you can stick to only buying food. Try to stay away from anything that produces a feeling of want or lack in you—like Pinterest, blogs, or television.
Richard Foster writes that, “We should take exception to the modern psychosis that defines people by how much they can produce or what they earn. We should experiment with bold new alternatives to the present death-giving system” (Foster, 81). Do you measure your own worth by what you produce? How about others’ worth by what they earn or have?
What do you think you are entitled to? Is everyone entitled to have this? If not, why do you think you are?
What is something that you really want or “need” right now? Would it actually add to your life or just add to a pile in your closet? What do you already own that might do in its place?
Are you envious of those who have more things or opportunities than you?
What would if feel like to give away half of what you won to someone who needs it?
In what way do you use language to make yourself look better than you are?
The Disciplines often overlap each other. Did you think of any others while you were listening? Do you find them easier or harder to practice? Why do you think that is?
Richard Foster, The Celebration of Discipline, The Path to Spiritual Growth
Adele Ahlberg Calhoun, The Spiritual Disciplines Handbook: Practices That Transform Us
Dallas Willard, The Spirit of the Disciplines, Understanding How God Changes Lives