Live the Simple Life

by | Nov 19, 2008 | Purpose & Identity

by Joyce Meyer
 
Too many things compete for our limited resources of attention, energy
and time-especially during this season of the year. Do you experience
days when nothing seems to get done except what you've added to your
already-lengthy to-do list? Are you tired most of the time? Do you find
yourself wishing for a simpler day?

I know all about feeling overwhelmed. I wasted many years hoping
things would calm down. I used to complain to God about my schedule
being absolutely insane. I'd cry, “God, how could anyone be expected to
do all that I have to do?”

Then it hit me: I was the one who made my schedule and nobody could
change it but me! I could no longer spend time wishing things were
different because wishing wouldn't change anything.

 

I prayed for God to change me and my approach to life. I learned
that He wanted me to simplify so that, ultimately, He could be
glorified.

Jesus said He came so we might have and enjoy our lives in abundance
(see John 10:10). His principles are simple. Faith is simple.

Trusting God is simple. A childlike approach to Him is simple, and His plan of salvation is too.

Jesus offers us a “new way of living,” and I believe it is a simple,
yet powerful way that enables us to enjoy everyday life. Since I began
this pursuit for simplicity, I have discovered many ways to simplify my
life, and one of them involves doing away with unrealistic expectations
of others and myself.

Unrealistic expectations can quickly steal our peace and joy. We
usually visualize a perfect day, with perfect people, and ourselves
being perfectly happy in our perfect little world, but we all know that
isn't reality. What is real is that only God is perfect and the rest of
us are under construction.

The devil knows what steals our peace and he sets us up to get
upset. Instead of freaking out when things don't go exactly the way you
planned, why not plan for some “boo-boos”?

In the last three days, I have broken a dish (that was new), spilled
water out of a humidifier all over the floor, dropped the container of
dog food and worked at trying to keep my dog out of it while I picked
it up, and had four keys made for a door and none of them worked! I
could probably think of more if I thought long enough.

These kinds of things once got me very upset. I would huff and puff
and murmur and complain and talk about how nothing ever worked out
right. None of that stopped those incidents from happening. As a matter
of fact, my frustration caused me to lose my focus and create more
accidents and mishaps.

After years of letting the devil steal my peace-and I am quite sure
laugh at me-I finally got it. Life is not perfect, and things are going
to happen that we did not plan for and would rather not have. My new
attitude has become, “Oh well, that's life!” I have discovered that if
I don't let those things impress me, then they can't depress me.

Everyone has to deal with inconveniences, but we can deal with them
and avoid a bad attitude. In fact, life is all about choices. We can
choose to do what needs to be done and systematically do it.

It may be tough at first, especially if you haven't been disciplined
in the past, but the rewards of order and restraint are worth the
effort. The Bible says that discipline brings peaceable fruit (see Heb.
12:11).

Practice living one day at a time; give every part of you to the day
at hand. You will sense an awareness enabling you to enjoy the current
activity instead of going through each day in a blur that leaves you
exhausted. You can begin to enjoy the simple life that God has waiting
for you, as well as the eternal blessings that come from trusting His
will for your life.

 


Joyce Meyer is a New York Times
best-selling author and one of the world's leading practical Bible
teachers. She has written more than 70 books, including the popular Beauty for Ashes and Battlefield of the Mind, and her most recent, 100 Ways to Simplify Your Life (all FaithWords). She is also the founder of Joyce Meyer Ministries Inc. and the host of Enjoying Everyday Life radio and TV programs, which air on hundreds of stations worldwide. To read past columns in Charisma by Joyce Meyer, click here.

 

 
This article is from the December 2008 issue of Charisma.

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