Simple Cautions, Complex Confessions

In the midst of the “simple” fad of our day (which has many healthy considerations for the church!), I was reminded yesterday in how careful we must be in selling to our people that the intended Christian life is suppose to be “simple.” This terminology can potentially send a message to Christ followers in thinking that if we strictly abide by Covey’s “true north principle,” and put “first things first,” that life will roll along quite smoothly and categorically.

We tell people that Christ led a “simple life”…taking moments of quiet solitude and fireside chats with The Twelve. We are reminded that Mary was the “simple one,” at the feet of Jesus, while Martha frantically scurried about doing busy work (Luke 10:38-42).

But at the same time, we know that Christ’s life was far from simple. It was extremely complex, and in many ways “self destructive,” yet still countered with moments of “strategic slowing” and intentional teachings. And though one Mary appears simple with Martha, in front of the Judas another admirable Mary seems very messy and complex when she washes Jesus’ feet with her hair (Matthew 26:6-13).

And so a better word may be “focused” rather than “simple”…To be focused on The Great Commission and the Great Command to Love, realizing that though this one focus in itself is simplistic, the very outcome of fulfilling this mission is extremely messy, complicated, and organic.

We are told that we live in a world of “complexity” and that we must run counter-cultural to this societal stream, following suite with Google and Apple (yes, we can learn from them!). However, what type of God do we follow? One of simplicity or complexity? (maybe both, pending on how you look at it)

Yes!…to focus, strategic living, and intentionality…but careful of assuming this path in turn produces simplicity…far from it.


~ by Dave Smith on September 30, 2008.

3 Responses to “Simple Cautions, Complex Confessions”

  1. Don’t confuse simple with easy. Obedience isn’t easy, but it is simple. Faith is incredibly difficult, but it’s very simple.

    And God, while having the ability to create and understand the complex, is really quite simple. Don’t forget–what’s complex to us is pretty simple to God.

    Missed you at Catalyst last week. So sad that you continue to ignore God’s call in your life. I did, however, enjoy running into Dick, Darren, and Jeff Youngstrom there!

    See ya’!

  2. Yes, definitely agree. Trying to give some balance towards the latest fad making sure we see the both/and-paradox that coexist.

    Youngstrom??? Sounds familiar.

    Yea, definitely missed seeing you! Wished I could have been there.

  3. […] what they are doing. This does not mean that it still won’t look organic or “messy.” Again, the Christian life is a both/and when it comes to simplicity and chaos. (NOTE: I was sitting next to a church leader who admitted his small church of 60 was very simple […]

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