The world today is all about materialism. It values money and considers those who have lots of success. But is being affluent equal to success?
Being happy and successful is not about having lots of money. A life that is based on values such as humility, generosity, and especially simplicity brings a truer sense of satisfaction and contentment. This is also how Jesus lived.
Jesus’ simple life tells us how to live in a way that will make us truly happy not only in this world but hereafter. When people live simply and in a minimalistic way, they are able to connect better with God.
Values Evident From Jesus’ Simple Life
Jesus led a very simple life. There are many verses in the Bible that stresses how important it is to be simple in terms of living. One bible verse about being simple is: No one can serve two masters; for a slave will either hate the one and love the other, or be devoted to the one and despise the other.
You cannot serve God and wealth (Matthew 6:24). This verse clearly implies the fact that those who run after wealth are in fact running away from God and, therefore, goodness.
Jesus never valued materialism or ran after worldly possessions. He used to travel a lot to spread the message. He used to stay at other people’s houses and never took much around with him. The values that Jesus believed in and followed were all the ones that can help one become closer to God. Those values helped him focus on what actually matters in life and they can do the same for us. They can help one experience an unmatchable level of satisfaction and happiness.
The values that Jesus lived upon include trust, love, helping and serving others selflessly, truthfulness, and righteousness. These values can help people lead a life with dignity and honor not only in the eyes of the people but more importantly, in the eyes of God. Running after wealth and collecting more and more can actually make people turn away from these values and become selfish.
How Can Materialism Harm Us and Take Us Away From God?
Materialism affects us negatively in many ways along with pushing us away from religion and the true purpose of life. It brings unpleasant emotions and physical health problems.
Stress is a common factor among those who run after worldly possessions. Their minds are always thinking about their accumulated wealth and they worry about it being stolen or lost.
Anxiety and Depression
People not following the example of Jesus’ simple life, often face anxiety and depression. This is because they believe that being rich and collecting things is the true purpose of life. No matter how much they collect, they are never satisfied. This brings them anxiety and depression. They are always looking at people wealthier than them and longing for more.
Increased Substance Abuse
Moreover, some people who are materialistic also suffer from a higher level of substance abuse. This might be because what they are running after is not the true purpose of life taught by God and can never make them fully content. Such people then take the aid of drugs to make themselves feel happy for a short period of time.
How to Tell If One Is Living a Simple Life
Today’s society has become so complicated that even those people who are trying to live a simple lifestyle are unable to do so. Some people compare themselves to others and think that they lead a simple life when they actually do not.
Therefore, to lead a simple life, it is important to consider if one is actually leading a simple life or not. To do so, one can look at the reason for going to work. People who are working for a fancier house, a promotion, or an expensive car are the ones chasing after this world.
Another thing that can help one judge their true values is envy. People who feel envious of others value worldly possessions over simplicity and their relationship with God. So, if one becomes easily jealous, that means that their trust in God is poor, and they need to take measures to reform the connection and focus on what matters
Tips for a Simpler Life
A living simply Christian can experience life in its truest form. They can avoid unnecessary distractions and focus on God and eternal life. It may seem difficult for people living extravagant lives to go simple, but it is not impossible. There are a few tips one can adopt to make life simpler and reconnect with God.
Understand the Difference Between Needs and Wants
Need is what a human body requires to survive; whereas, wants are desires not required for survival. Wants are unlimited and are ever-growing, but needs remain the same. Basic food such as bread and water, for example, is a need; whereas a lobster frittata is not.
People looking for a simpler life should focus on fulfilling their needs only. By doing so, they will minimize worldly distractions and focus more on the true meaning of life.
Less Is More
One can drive away from materialistic desires by focusing on what matters. To do so, one must let go of their collecting nature and refocus their energy on giving. They must try and get rid of things that bring stress to their minds and heart.
However, people may find it hard to let go of all the luxuries all at once. They can work by starting off by letting go one thing at a time. When people honestly try, God also helps make things easier for them.
Learn to Love God and Pray to Him Regularly
Learn to love God by reading about Him regularly. This will help people to rely on God and trust Him to provide for them.
Moreover, spending more time in prayer automatically reduces the time left to think of ways to become wealthier. Fasting can also help to bring one closer to God. It can help people stay away from temptations and remain simple in terms of living.
Limit Time Spent on Social Media
By looking at the lives of others, people develop wants that are not important. They try to be like others, and in the process, they lose their true selves and their true purpose. Things, money, and fame become important for them, which take them further away from simplicity and God.
The materialistic world of today may make it hard for people to live a life similar to Jesus’ simple life. The level of materialism is not only pushing people away from God but is also harming them physically and emotionally.
However, achieving simplicity is not impossible and it can be done by bringing a few changes to one’s life. The most important thing that will help people live simpler is to understand the difference between needs and wants.
People who start focusing on the true basic needs and eliminate the desire for unnecessary worldly possessions will be able to focus on God. They will start to focus on things that truly matter and adapt values shown by Jesus.