In the fast-paced "hurry up" society in which we live, most of us long for a simpler way of life. To those who are finding it difficult to hang on to simplicity, here are my "5 Tips for Learning to Appreciate the Simple Things in Life:"
1. No one can ever "have it all." Did you know that it's physically impossible for everyone to live the "American Dream?" Well, that doesn't keep many folks from trying to achieve it. But the Son of God—our Savior—said, "I have overcome the world." So, don't waste your time trying to accumulate things you don't need. As long as you have salvation by God's grace through faith in Jesus Christ, you have everything you need!
2. Certain things in life are "non-negotiable." Maturity is the process by which we come to realize that there are some things we can put off until tomorrow...but the truly important things must be dealt with first and foremost. Too often, I fear that we invest considerable time, effort and money mistaking the "negotiable" for the "non-negotiable." Learning to "put first things first" will help you see life more clearly—and appreciate the simplicity of the power of God's love in our lives.
3. Failure is not final. Now, I realize this isn't an original thought. But think for just a moment about the things in your life you haven't done—or those goals you haven't pursued—simply because a past failure has left you feeling as though you either can't achieve them or don't deserve to. Well, if you have the Lord in your life, you may stumble, but you will never fall! So keep moving forward! (And remember, your kids will learn from your example.)
4. Sometimes it's better to be kind than right. And this is something that happens only by God's grace. Now, of course, the Father doesn't expect us to sit idly by when someone is being wronged, and it's within our ability to right the wrong. But, think about the relationships that are most important to you. Are you gracious with those you love? Are you willing to be misunderstood or overlooked from time to time for Christ's sake? Remember, we are saved by grace—not by having all the right answers on a "Salvation Test."
5. Remember that you "live in the Light." Why is it that so often we live our lives as if we can keep secrets from God? The first step to finding freedom from shame is to bring our faults into the light. Confession is good for the soul. Ask God for forgiveness. And make sure you have at least one person in your life that you can admit your shortcomings to. What is it they say? "A friend is someone who knows all about you—and still loves you anyway!"
Learning to appreciate the simplicity of our faith is an essential component of effective Christian living. So, take time to enjoy the simple things—in your faith, your family and your friendships. Though He's omnipotent, omniscient and omnipresent, having a relationship with God really isn't all that complicated!