This discipline is a massive kick in the ass of Western Civilization. I will quote from several places in Richard J. Foster’s chapter on Simplicity:

Simplicity is freedom… simplicity brings joy and balance…

Contemporary culture lacks both the inward reality and the outward life-style of simplicity… We are trapped in a maze of competing attachments…

We crave things we neither need or enjoy… The mass media have convinced us that to be out of step with fashion is to be out of step with reality…

Covetousness we call ambition. Hoarding we call prudence. Greed we call industry.

I am surely not the best person to be telling others to live a more simplistic life, and that is not at all my intention. This discipline is most definitely one I struggle with most. I do not blame my career or the culture I live in, rather I tend to use those things as excuses for a lack of discipline in this area. I enjoy owning the latest in computer technology and knowing all there is to know about the Web industry. I don’t think those things are negative, however, if my time is only dedicated to these things for the purpose of making my own life better and easier, I have missed the point of hard work.

God has given us gifts, and all of us are capable of using those gifts to fill our lives with more stuff. However, God intends for those gifts to be used for helping others and bringing glory to God.

May God give you-and me-the courage, the wisdom, the strength always to hold the kingdom of God as the number-one priority of our lives. To do so is to live in simplicity

Richard J. Foster, Celebration of Discipline


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