Summary: How do we manage a life that is becoming progressively more complicated? We take a look inside God's Word to find key principles that will help us simplify our lives.
A. How do we manage a life that is becoming progressively more complicated? Psalm 119:130 says, “The entrance of thy words giveth light. It giveth understanding unto the simple.” The word “simple” here means uncomplicated. In other words, the Word of God brings light and comprehension to a life that has been simplified.
B. The Bible is God’s revelation to you and me about how to bring meaning out of chaos or complex life events that bring confusion and make it hard to understand what to do. When you simplify your life, it gets progressively more worth living and more enjoyable; your quality of life and level of success will go up.
C. In order to simplify your life, you first have to know the answer to this question: Does God have a purpose for you? The answer is summarized in Mark 16:15–16: “And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.” This is the command that Jesus left with His disciples and still is true for us today. Your life can be simplified when you know that your life’s resource should ultimately go toward bringing more people the Word of God: supporting the preaching of the Gospel, bringing people to sit under the Word at church, sending missionaries to the foreign field, building new churches, or buying airtime for ministries. Generally speaking, your life’s purpose is to get the Word into other people, and your priorities in life need to reflect that.
D. Now that we’ve identified our main purpose, God tells us in His Word how we can properly use and simplify the different resources He has given us in our lives: relationships, money, our bodies, and time.
E. Mismanaged relationships will produce as many complications as anything I know. When a relationship is mismanaged, schism and division will result as well as resentment, bitterness, unforgiveness, animosity, wrath, anger, and much more. A mismanaged relationship complicates our lives to the point where we just want to go up into the mountains and be a hermit and never see another person again.
F. The Bible tells us how we can simplify our relationships: love. Love never fails (1 Corinthians 13:8). This doesn’t refer only to a feeling of affection. The Greek word used for love, agape, is an action. It means to give. The rest of 1 Corinthians 13 provides an expanded definition to what loving others should look like. Love gives somebody else the benefit of the doubt. Love gives friendship, gentleness, and kindness. Love isn’t rude and unmannerly. Love believes the best. Love is not rude or unmannerly. Love forgives. Love doesn’t hold resentment and bitterness, and it reaches out to meet somebody else’s need. Love listens instead of talks. If you want to simplify your relationships, love is the answer.
G. Another area God shows us how to simplify is our finances. Financial complexity robs you of any real quality of life. Mismanaged finances put us in these kinds of situations where chaos seems to reign: too much debt, cash flow problems, creditors calling, people hounding you for money. The list goes on. Life becomes so complicated that people just want to throw in the towel.
H. If you want to simplify your financial management, the first thing you do is recognize that you don’t own anything, including your money. The Bible says you’re God’s steward. A steward is one who manages or administrates the household or estate of his lord. God entrusts you with a certain amount of material resource to pursue His purpose. When you realize that you’ve been worrying about something that doesn’t even belong to you, you realize you no longer need to worry. You know the Lord will take care of you when you’re working for Him, and it begins setting you free of one of the major constraints people have to deal with.
I. The second thing you need to do with your finances is labor at that which is good to earn an income. Ephesians 4:28 says, “Let him that stole steal no more: but rather let him labour, working with his hands the thing which is good, that he may have to give to him that needeth.” This isn’t talking about a guy who’s a thief. It’s talking about someone who is not functioning as God’s steward. The word “labor” means your best and most consistent effort. That means you don’t punch in and punch out every day and do as little as you can in between. It is making your best and most consistent effort. If you want to generate an income that God’s going to bless, this is the way it begins.