What does simple living mean?


I have lost count of the number of blogs I have read that stresses the importances of "simple living". 

What does simple living mean?

The problem with this phrase is that it means different things to different people. I really like my hairdryer, microwave, washing machine and the electricity that power those things, the fact I can buy ready made bread and not have to make it every day, my car which allows me freedom of movement and earning enough so we don't have to struggle. 

Some would say, we don't live simply. Perhaps not by those who are self-sufficient, living in a cottage somewhere and not reliant on power and water and avoid the supermarket. However, compared to those who drive two cars, own 4 TVs, big house. go on lots of holidays and eats out every second night we are living quite simply. 

Simple living doesn't mean you have to make your own soap or bake your own bread. I personally think it means not be driven by the needs of the world that want you to buy and consume constantly. It doesn't mean you need to throw out the microwave or dishwasher or minimise your home — rather, not becoming a slave to the  materialist world that we live in and constantly wanting more and more of things we don't need or never use. 

I also think it means not living a busy or complicated life full of distractions where you don't have the time or energy to give generously or serve joyfully. 

Living simply means putting your focus on living a Godly life and not one of always wanting more.  Because the more you have and the more you want takes you further and further away from God and in turn will not find you happiness or satisfaction of any sort. 


And again I say to you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.” (Matthew 19:24)


So what does simple living mean to me . . . 

* make family more important than money or belongings
* not being driven by material goods and the "need to shop"
* not being envious of others, being satisfied with what you have
* don't make work the centre of one's life, but a means to enjoy life with my family
* going slower in a busy world — remove the clutter in one's life
* create time for solitude
* live peacefully
* living naturally as possible
* enjoy the beauty around you rather than rush past a rose, stop to smell it.
* not living beyond one's means
* helping others and not focusing on self
* sharing with others
* eating healthy whole foods and cooking from scratch
* not needing the latest gadgets
* living in a smaller home with a manageable mortgage
* not replacing the car every five minutes just because there is something better or faster (or any other item)
* not going out all the time and spending lots of money on meals and entertainment (which doesn't mean not ever going out, but making it occasional and therefore special)
* sewing for the family and others where possible
* enjoying simple pleasures such as reading, listening to music, going for a walk in the fresh air
* decluttering and donating goods to charity
* visiting the fruit and vegetable markets more than the supermarket
* be conscious of wastage and not consuming the worlds resources at a mega rate
* recycling and buying second hand
* enjoying giving and receiving homemade gifts


Simplicity in its essence demands neither a vow or poverty not a life of rural homesteading. As an ethic of self-conscious material moderation, it can be practiced in cities and suburbs, townhouses and condominiums. It requires neither a log cabin nor a hair shirt but a deliberate ordering of priorities so as to distinguish between the necessary and superfluous, useful and wasteful, beautiful and vulgar. (by David Shi)


It doesn't mean going without or even living frugally. Its about wise and thoughtful living . . . which in turns creates an environment that is not hectic, pressured and stressful for both you and your family . . . which is far better for us all mentally and emotionally.  

It essences, it is healthy living


The more we own (not just goods but money as well), the harder it is to give it up and none of it will get us to heaven faster.


But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night, in which the heavens will pass away with a great noise, and the elements will melt with fervent heat; both the earth and the works that are in it will be burned up. (1 Peter 3:10)



Comments

  1. Simple living. Yes. Not easy to do or find in our modern world, but I think it is the best way. I also agree that it means different things for different people and different circumstances.

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    1. These days if I get junk mail, I toss it in the bin so I am not temped. Now watching commercial TV helps a great deal as I rarely ever see ads these days !! Perhaps once I am retired I will start to make my own soap!!!

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  2. I agree. Sometimes people can get a bit hung up on what others are doing. I think you just have to do what is best for you and your family, in your circumstances.

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    1. If families really want to get back to grass roots I think that is great, but I have no plans to do that, I love some of my home comforts far too much!!!

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  3. Good post... I also think that it can change over time... even for the same family. It is an ongoing thing though, since I do want to have a simpler life. :)

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    1. I agree about it changing and raging too. Don't we all want a simpler and less cluttered life!!!

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  4. What a great definition and list!!!

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    1. Thanks, simple live is personal to you which makes it different to me :))

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  5. I agree with you. Living simply means wise and thoughtful living. I suppose for me, living simply means that I base my life doing everything with and through love. It's ironic that I consider that living simply because it is so very difficult to do.

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    1. Love in all we do is so important :)

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  6. Very well written post and very important points. Thanks for sharing this at Good Morning Mondays. Blessings

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    1. Thanks Terri :) if only it was easy to implement and maintain!!

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  7. This was a very good post. You are right...it may look differently for each person, but the main thing, I think, is for us to keep our eyes singly focused on Jesus and the uncomplicated life He lived. His whole mission was to minimize the temporal and accentuate the spiritual. I am finding my family and I are being more and more drawn to that mindset, and the more we focus on Him and eternal things, the less the "things" of this world mean to us. My dear Mom used to tell me often, "Only one life, 'twill soon be past; only what's done for Christ will last." How true! So thankful to have "met" you today through Terri's link-up! God bless you.

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    1. I agree Cheryl - the more we focus on Christ, the less we even think of anything else :))

      I was cleaning out my kitchen cupboards over the weekend and I found all sorts of things I haven’t used in ages, I decided to be tough and get rid of those items I haven’t used in a long time. We keep too many things and we want too many things that we will hardly ever use (and then complain that our homes aren’t big enough). It is quite crazy when you think about it!!! As a result, I now have lots of space in my cupboard and I will take the items I no longer want to charity for someone else to enjoy.

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  8. Thank you sharing this. I agree - I'm taking steps to simplify my life and my family's life this year. We've started with decluttering our physical space. Found you through Small Victories Sunday!

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    1. It amazing how much space you find when you declutter :) My son and his wife thought they were running out of room in their 3 bedroom apartment until they did a big tidy up and found they had plenty!!

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  9. Going back to the basics. Eliminating distractions. Being content and grateful with the blessings in our lives. Simple living is so elusive!


    Thanks for sharing at #SmallVictoriesSundayLinkup ...I've pinned your post... hope you join us again this week.

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    1. I often wonder why so many people struggle with contentment and being thankful for what they have - a failing in so many sadly :)

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