One of the biggest trends in today’s crazy busy world is simplification.
The recent bestseller Essentialism talks about how doing less rather than more gives you more time and energy to do what you do even better and results in you making a bigger difference in your world.
One of my favorite blogs is “becoming minimalist” which shares inspiration and tips for living with less while enjoying life more.
I also love Andy Stanley’s teaching that the ultimate goal for leaders should be to “only do what only you can do.” My paraphrase: determine what is essential, delete what’s not, do what only you can do, and delegate the rest.
Simplification sounds real good . . . until you start looking at each individual detail on your to-do list and every appointment in your day timer. The thought of deleting some of those items may feel brutal and uncaring, even though, at the same time, you may resent the time and energy they require.
Maybe we should take a cue about our priorities from Jesus.
I love the way Jesus lived His life. He was never in a hurry. He ministered to whoever crossed His path each day. He shared His wisdom with them, met their needs, and gave them His undivided attention.
Jesus also simplified the rules and regulations that were such a burden on the Jews in His time. Through the centuries, the religious leaders had added hundreds of laws to the ones handed down by God. It had reached the point where the law was no longer making their lives better and bringing them closer to God. Instead, trying to keep all the rules was now making everyday life more difficult.
Today’s verse is one of the most popular ones in the Bible. In fact, it’s frequently quoted, not only in churches, but also in secular arenas. A lot of companies even include the phrase in their name.
It’s located in Matthew 7:12 and it’s known as the “Golden Rule.”
The NIV translation says, “So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you . . . .”
It’s such a simple yet brilliant concept. And a great way to live life.
And what is equally brilliant is the phrase that completes this verse: “. . . for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.”
In one fell swoop, Jesus took hundreds of Jewish rules and regulations and reduced them down to one sentence.
One lone truth.
A single moral code that encompasses all the law and the prophets.
Now that’s what I call simplified.