When was the last time you went head-to-head with something that was just too complicated?
Maybe it was at Christmas, when you watched your child open that toy with “some assembly required.”
Maybe it was your introduction to the wonderful world of video chat programs, during this COVID-19 pandemic. I know for me, as a pastor, this whole season of life has been so incredibly complicated, trying to figure out not only Zoom and video meetings, but making decisions about when and how our church family can meet has been super complex too.
Or maybe the last time you ran into something super complicated was the last time you tried to figure out your life.
In our world, being complicated is seen as a sign of sophistication. People who are “hard to figure out” are usually considered to be intelligent and deep. If we’re honest, there is something inside of us that enjoys keeping people guessing. However, as followers of Jesus, we are called to a life of simplicity.
Jesus did not seek to be complicated. While his thoughts had the depth you would expect from the Creator of the Universe, he was also simple. This straightforward approach spoke to the people of Israel and set him apart from other teachers of the law. The religious leaders in his day cloaked everything they did in complication. Imagine the surprise of the people when the Son of God walks on the scene with a straightforward approach and a simple message. He said what he meant and did what he said he would do.
While we are separated from the days of Jesus by two-thousands years, human nature hasn’t changed much. As humans, we still like to hide behind complexity. We like it when our thought processes, our relationships with God and our schedules appear complicated. Complication gives us a feeling of importance. It muddies the water just enough for us to continue hiding. We hide from conviction and from the simple, clear-cut truth of God. Like Adam and Eve in the garden, we shrink away from God’s voice, wrapping ourselves in complicated arguments and rationales. The longer we hide in our complexity, the more self-focused and insecure we become.
The Lord longs to deliver us from our layers of complexity and heal us with his simple truth.
Think about the people you know who approach life in simplicity. They are usually more at peace, more generous, and quicker to laugh. They are beautifully uncomplicated. What you see is what you get. When our life is marked by the simplicity of Jesus, we stand out.
In a world that seeks to complicate everything, a simple follower of Jesus passes through this world like a breath of fresh air.
So how do we do it? How do we become a people of beautiful simplicity? Well, it shouldn’t surprise us that the answer itself is simple: We need to get our eyes back on Jesus. We need to gain his perspective, and we do that by spending time with him. The more time we spend focusing on ourselves, the more insecure and complicated we will become. A simple life is found as we approach our Savior and become more like him.
Brothers and sisters, let us seek to be uncomplicated. Over the noise of a busy, complicated world, let our words be few and our lives be simple.