Thursday, June 11, 2015

Developing a Simple Life-Style - No. 5 - Personal Life Style

Children in a North-West  Indian village, Near Delhi.
PERSONAL LIFE-STYLE. Jesus our Lord summons us to holiness, humility, simplicity and contentment. He also promises us his rest. We confess, however, that we have often allowed unholy desires to disturb our inner tranquility. So without the constant renewal of Christ’s peace in our hearts, our emphasis on simple living will be one sided. Our Christian obedience demands a simple lifestyle, irrespective of the needs of others.

Nevertheless, the facts that 800 million people are destitute and that 10,000 die of starvation every day make any other lifestyle indefensible. While some of us have been called to live among the poor, and others to open our homes to the needy, all of us are determined to develop a simpler lifestyle. We intend to re-examine our income and expenditure, in order to manage unless and give away more.

We lay down no rules or regulations, for either ourselves or others. Yet we resolve to renounce waste and oppose extravagance and personal living, clothing and housing, travel and church buildings. We also accept the distinction between necessities and luxuries, creative hobbies and empty status symbols, modesty and vanity, occasional celebrations and normal routine, and between the service of God and slavery to fashion.

Where to draw the line requires conscientious thought and decision by us, together with members of our family. Those of us who belong to the West need the help of our Third World brothers and sisters in evaluating our standards of spending. Those of us who live in the Third World acknowledge that we too are exposed to the temptation to covetousness. So we need each other’s understanding, encouragement and prayers.

(This is part 5 of a series of 10 blog posts. Developing a Simple Life-Style was a conference with 85 evangelical leaders from 27 countries at High Leigh Conference Center, London, England March 17-21, 1980)

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