“The ability to simplify means to eliminate the unnecessary so that the necessary may speak.” – Hans Hofmann- German Artist
Henry David Thoreau once said, “Our life is frittered away by detail…simplify, simplify.” On many occasions while prayer journaling, the Holy Spirit has said I need to simplify. Does your life ever feel as complex as this math problem? Mine does. To SIMPLIFY means to make something easier to understand or do; to emphasize and speak what is fundamental and straightforward; to make things plain, basic, or uncomplicated without much decoration or ornamentation; to be more humble and unpretentious; to be composed of a single element—not compounded, divided, or branched. David said, “One thing I have desired of the LORD, That will I seek: That I may dwell in the house of the LORD All the days of my life, To behold the beauty of the LORD, And to inquire in His temple.” (Ps. 27:4)
Danish theologian Soren Kierkegaard echoed, “Purity of Heart is to Will One Thing,” For twelve years I attended a Quaker School. One of their beloved hymns was, “‘Tis a gift to be simple. ‘Tis a gift to be free. ‘Tis a gift to come down where we ought to be, And when we find ourselves in the place just right, twill be in the valley of love and delight.” Simplicity is a gift that brings joy. Quaker theologian Richard Foster called simplicity a spiritual discipline stating that, “Simplicity is freedom; duplicity is bondage.” Minimalists emphasize ways in which decluttering our homes, schedules, minds, and bank accounts can bring us into more and more freedom. How might you need to simplify?
King Solomon wrote, “This is all that I have learned: God made us plain and simple, but we have made ourselves very complicated.” (Ecc. 7:9, GNT) The Apostle Paul warned that false teachers can cause us to over-complicate even our relationship with Christ. As a spiritual father he said, 2For I am jealous for you with godly jealousy. For I have betrothed you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ. 3But I fear, lest somehow, as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, so your minds may be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ”.(2 Cor. 11:2-3) Simplicity here is the difference between a plain sheet of cloth versus one with many folds or wrinkles. God invites us to iron out/simplify the complex to bring us to a place of peace and calm.