Are you keeping it simple or stressing out?

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KIS Kids WatermelonI attended a picnic recently and noticed how uncomplicated and free the kids were. They didn’t worry about the meat on the BBQ or who brought what for a side dish. They made fun their only concern. It was a picnic after all.

I know as adults we have responsibilities. I understand the need to plan and prepare. But does life have to be so complicated? Let me give you six steps to keep it simple:

  • Remember what is and isn’t eternal. Only people live forever! That task or thing you’re stressing over may not have much (or any) eternal significance. The first step to a simpler life is remembering to focus on what matters most—people.

  • Identify and stay true to your core values. What six or seven things best define who you are, your ideals, and your purpose? For example, loving God and others is one of my core values. If an opportunity isn’t related to love at some level, I’m not interested. But if I can advance the cause of love, I’m in! Loyalty, faithfulness, and family are other core values to me.

  • Try to make a subtraction for every addition in your life. Have you noticed how easy it is to say yes and how hard it is to say no? One of the most effective ways to simplify your life is to stop something old whenever you start something new. This step is much easier when you’ve applied the previous two steps.

  • Practice sacrificial generosity. The more we have, the more we worry, and the more we worry, the more complicated our life gets. I’m not saying it’s bad to own stuff, but it’s a problem when our stuff starts to own us. The best way to guard my heart against distracting materialism is to give generously.

  • Determine which voices you’re going to listen to. Sometimes the multitude of other voices are nothing more than complicating distractions. Be humble. Be a good listener. But be wise too, and listen to the voices that matter most.

  • Live fully in the moment. It’s good to plan for the future. But sometimes we are so future-minded we are of no present good. We can’t spend all our time worrying about tomorrow. The simple thing is the present thing. Do it well. Do it now.

What next?

What have you found effective for de-cluttering your life? Pick one or two of the things above and start simplifying today.

May I pray for you?

God, our society values busyness. We feel worthwhile when we’re needed, and oftentimes add more to our plates than we can manage. Refocus our attention on the eternal. Help us simplify our lives. Amen.

“Don’t worry about tomorrow. It will take care of itself.

You have enough to worry about today” Matthew 6:34 CEV.

KIS Be Here Now

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4 Responses to Are you keeping it simple or stressing out?

  1. Great read Kurt and simple reminders to keep at the front of mind. It’s so easy to get overbusy and not realize how you got there. Healthy pruning is definitely a must along with keeping the eternal important ness of our daily tasks in prospective. Thanks for the post!

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