One of the resources I used for the weekend series I recently concluded was Simple Life by Thom and Art Rainer. Simple Life is a companion piece to the book Simple Church, utilizing the same concepts except focusing them on one’s personal life.
Based on a research sample of 1,077 people, team Rainer conducted surveys and personal interviews to identify the struggles and concerns of our fellow Americans. The resulting research became the outline of the book addressing our lack of margin in four key areas of life: enough time to get everything done, finding balance in relationships, having enough money, and connecting with God.
The authors applied the same steps to help create simplicity in life that they applied to help create simplicity in the local church. These steps are described as ways to help create margin and space in our fast and cluttered lives. Step one is to establish clarity, which is to say that you have a plan and that the plan clearly states where you want to go. Step two is movement, which is the intentional step by step process that one takes to move forward down the desired path. Step three is alignment, which is the (sometimes) painful elimination of things both bad and good that will help one focus on the best. Finally, step four is focus, which is the diligence to say no to the good so that you can say yes to the best.
Simple Life is very practical. Though it is written by Christians for a Christian audience, it is not overtly theological. For those looking for some basic steps to bring order into the chaos that is their lives, the book will be valuable. For those looking for more of a theological foundation as to how to live life as God intended, they may want to look at Richard Foster’s Freedom of Simplicity.