Posted by: Philip Rushton | July 19, 2011

Practicing Simplicity

During our study last night we talked about how we can move from the consumerism to contentment. Looking at the story of the rich man in Luke 12 we explored how unchecked greed takes a toll on our spiritual lives. Jesus tells the parable of the barn builder to illustrate that consumer culture places us in a constant state of dissatisfaction and gives us a false sense of security. We then explored how we can counter consumerism by practicing generosity, simplicity and creativity. I referenced a list of guidelines for practicing simplicity last night. Since we went over them quickly I thought I would post them on the blog.


1. Buy things for usefulness not status.

2. Reject things that are developing an addiction.

3. Develop the habit of giving things away.

4. Learn to enjoy things without owning them.

5. Refuse to be propagandized by the custodians of modern gadgetry.

6. Reject things that breed oppression in others.

7. Develop a deeper appreciation for God’s creation.

8. Reject things that prevent you from seeking the kingdom of God first.

– From Richard Foster’s A Celebration of Discipline

What are some specific ways that you can practice simplicity this week?


  1. Didn’t make the session, thanks for the suggestions. Our Amish brethern would think we are off to a good start…..Paz en Cristo…………..

  2. 2. Reject things that are developing an addiction. Ouch, Starbucks mocha? Is a habit an addiction? This list gives me a chance to pause and think about what I do, what I spend, what I want and the reasons behind them.

  3. Hey Randy,

    “Is a habit an addiction?” Good question. What do you think? I think one way we can assure that a habit does not become addictive is if we fast from it from time to time.

    • I would agree that fasting from something is a great way to keep on track. It’s a forum like this that helps keep some accountability. It’s so much easier when others know and encourage your path.
      OK, I’m starting my fast from mochas right now. No mochas/lattes/cappucinos for the rest of the month.

      • Okay I’ll hold you to it!

  4. Philip,
    What about the habit of spending millions,millions on beauty products- hair coloring, creams, nail polish, lasers…….ext.

  5. That is a good example Margaret. One of the things we talked about Monday was how there are so many things we feel we couldn’t live without that didn’t even exist a century ago. Through the power of marketing we now think we ‘need’ things that people for centuries lived without.

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