How to Live a Simple Christian Joy Filled Life in 6 Simple Steps
If you are yearning for a simple, joy-filled life, as opposed to a complicated, over-committed, stress-filled life, these six simple steps will help you. The steps are in the form of an acronym: S.I.M.P.L.E
S – Stop, Step One
If your life is out of control, if you are over committed, just stop. Catch your breath and do an inventory of your commitments.
Do you really have to serve on those four committees?
Do your children need to be on all of those sports teams?
Do you need to be connected to your Facebook, Twitter, email or other social media all day?
Do you fly out the door each morning, running from one task to another?
Look at what you can eliminate. In the future, don’t over commit. No is a complete sentence. Others will be found to do what is needed.
Take time to stop throughout the day. Take a few deep breaths. Think of what you are grateful for. You can’t feel anxious or stressed when you are expressing thoughts of gratitude. 1 Thessalonians 5:18 says, “In everything give thanks.”
I – Intend, Step Two
Change happens when you make a decision. After you have stopped to take an inventory, make a commitment to cut out activities or habits that are making your life complicated. In other words, intend on staying focused to simplify your life.
Intend and plan to stick to your new commitment to live a simpler life.
M – Meditate, Step Three
Meditation is the quickest way to clear your mind of cluttered, anxious or fearful thoughts. Meditation allows space to receive peace, clarity, joy and direction. It is also a way to experience God’s peace, direction and presence to help you.
Setting aside just 10-20 minutes for meditation will help you to stop and experience life simply. In Psalm 46:10, the Psalmist says, “Be still and know that I am God.” If you need help, here’s a meditation CD based on Psalm 46:10.
P – Pray, Step Four
When you stop, intend, and clear your mind of confusing and anxious thoughts, ask for God’s help through prayer. 1 Thessalonians 5:17 says, “Pray without ceasing.”
1 Corinthians 14:33 says, “God is not the author of confusion, but of peace.”
When we are conscious of God’s presence, we can experience this peace. God created us to have a relationship.
Relationships depend on communication. Prayer is simply having a conversation with God. Prayer is simple, not complicated. Talk to God on a daily basis. Have a conversation just like you would with your spouse, friend or other loved one.
Philippians 4:6 says, “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God.”
Pray for guidance, direction and discernment to simplify your life and find more love, joy and peace.
L – Listen, Step Five
Listen to the yearnings of your heart and what brings you joy. Does a commitment you have made or are considering making causing you to feel expansive or contracted? If it will enrich your life, do it. If it causes stress, don’t. Yes, it’s that simple.
Listen to God speaking to you during your times of meditation, prayer and as you stop throughout the day to catch your breath.
Listen to the sounds of nature. Listen to the sounds of your children. These are simple pleasures.
Listen to your friends, co-workers, and loved ones. Be fully present. Give others your full attention.
When your attention is divided by being on your cell phone, reading or responding to an email or posting on social media, you will not be effective. You waste time and harm relationships. Focused listening will simplify your life.
E – Execute, Step Six
These six steps will not help you simplify your life if you don’t execute them. The little book of James is a powerful book. It says in 1:22, “Be be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.”
Stop when you feel you are over-committing or complicating your life. Continue to intend on making life simple. As you intend you will form new, simple habits. As you practice meditation, prayer, gratitude and listen, life will take on a new and deeper meaning. Life will no longer be a stressful blur.
The Psalmist says, ” Man is a mere phantom as he goes to and fro: He bustles about, but only in vain.” Psalm 39:6 NIV
May your life not be a blur. May you be conscious of each moment and cherish each moment.
S.I.M.P.L.E. – Stop, Intend, Meditate, Pray, Listen, Execute
I hope that these six simple steps will help you “do” what it takes to live a simple, joy-filled life.
Need encouragement to stay on your spiritual path? Join me in The Guided Life.
Need help learning to be still and experiencing God’s peace, presence and direction? Be Still can help.