But we encourage you, brothers, to do so even more, to seek to lead a quiet life, to mind your own business, and to work with your own hands, as we commanded you, so that you may walk properly in the presence of outsiders and not be dependent on anyone. - 1 Thessalonians 4:10b-12 HCSB

Living with godly simplicity does not equal inactivity. It is not an encouragement for mental or physical laziness. Simplicity, when it is handled properly, removes the noise and clutter that threaten to steal our sense of peace and intimacy with Christ.

We should never tire of doing even the smallest things for God, because He isn't impressed so much with the dimensions of our work as with the love in which it is done. We must not be discouraged if we fail in the beginning because the practice will eventually cause our efforts to become a pleasurable habit that we will do automatically, without thinking.

We should simply dedicate ourselves to the development of an attitude of faith, hope, and love. We need not be concerned about anything else. All other considerations like work, ministry or family are simply is not as important. They should only be regarded as means by which we get to the final goal - which is being entirely lost in the love of God.

Every age has its own particular traits - the iron age, the agrarian age, the industrial age, or the information age. Right now, with the cultural diversity and religious relativism that characterizes our age, we are being overwhelmed by complexity. The simplicity of the Gospel was never more needed than now. We try to replace that simple gospel and the means by which is it spread (I mean the Church) with programs, methods, organizations, and a world of nervous activities. Like our electronic entertainment, these occupy time and attention but can never satisfy the longing of our hearts.

We try to satisfy ourselves with shallow weekend retreats and hollow self-serving worship. Our sickly attempts to imitate the world’s programs and promotional methods only serve to demonstrate that we have not yet fully experienced the real thing. We still know God and His peace imperfectly, else we would be dissatisfied with everything else.

Simplicity brings freedom. It is not the absence of control or convenience. Instead, it is the pinnacle of true abiding and fellowship with God. Francois de Fénelon writes: "O, how amiable this simplicity is! Who will give it to me? I leave all for this. It is the Pearl of the Gospel." [1]

In regaining their spiritual balance, the Thessalonian Christians embraced the discipline of simplicity. They refocused their hearts and minds on Jesus Christ, knowing that He would never fail them.


[1] French Theologian and tutor to the young Duke of Burgundy for whom he wrote Telemaque(1699)