How to Un-complicate Your Life

Life is really simple, but we insist on making it complicated. ~ Confucius

What do you think? Does life seem more complicated now than it used to be? Particularly during the holiday season, it seems there aren’t enough hours in the day or week to get everything done that we need to do, to see everyone that we need to see, and to still find time to actually enjoy the season.

No matter what season you’re in (and there are constantly changing seasons in our lives), I think these tips will help you un-complicate your life and find the peace, joy and blessings that Jesus came to give us.

Find Joy I withheld not my heart from any joy, for my heart rejoiced in all my labor … (Eccl. 2:10)

Too often, we tell ourselves, “I’ll find time for that later”; referring to the things we really want to do. We let the urgent crowd out the joyful, refreshing things that make life worth living. We get so bogged down in details that we forget to find the joy in our everyday tasks. It’s OK to allow yourself some down-time, some me-time, to do things that bless your soul and give you joy.

When I was a caregiver (My heart goes out to all of you in that position! It’s one of the most difficult things to do, juggling your own life with the critical needs of another), I squeezed out minutes to enjoy a hot cup of tea and some quiet time for myself every day in between care tasks. It wasn’t easy, but it helped my mental and emotional health immensely.

Don’t let yourself get so buried in ‘doing’ that you forget the simple joys of life. Joy doesn’t have to be a big event. Find it in small moments and simple things. Don’t put off your joy until later; find some every day!

Find Peace – Seek peace and pursue it. (Ps. 34:14)

A sense of peace is invaluable to your uncomplicated life. If you’re worried or stressed out about people, things, money or commitments, your life is too complicated. Period. Peace is a fruit of the Spirit, instilled within you by Almighty God, but its manifestation is up to you. And let the peace (soul harmony which comes) from Christ rule (act as umpire continually) in your hearts … (Col. 3:15 AMPC).

If it doesn’t seem peaceful, don’t do it! Find a way to reschedule, postpone or eliminate things that try to steal your peace. If you can’t ‘make it go away’, then make a concentrated effort to change the way you think about that person or task. Find your peace.

In addition, strife, anger and unforgiveness will steal your peace. They are expensive, complicated emotions and you can’t afford them! For where envy and strife are, there is confusion and every evil work (James 3:16). Pray for peace and harmony in those situations. Be willing to change your thinking (or shut your mouth!) when necessary to keep the peace.

Find Time – To everything there is a season, and a time for every purpose under heaven … (Eccl. 3:1)

Most of us are so b-u-s-y, that we barely have time to sleep at night. And when we do go to bed, we lie awake worrying about or planning for more of the ‘stuff’ in our schedules. Life tries to pack our time to the max, leaving little of it for quiet, peaceful, enjoyable things. But here’s a potent truth: you make your own schedule! No one else can agree to all the things you’re committed to but you.

First, find the power of “NO”. Don’t let other people’s priorities become yours. Maybe your best friend is passionate about a certain charity or community project. That doesn’t mean you have to be, too. Carefully consider the impact, both short- and long-term, before you agree to take on another project. No matter how good the cause, if it doesn’t speak to your heart, learn to say NO. Where you are committed, find ways to delegate some or all of the tasks involved. Let someone else bake the cookies, bring a dish, wrap the presents, or clean the house. You don’t have to do it ALL.

Second, plan for play. Mark out time on your calendar for yourself and make no other commitments for those hours. Whether it’s an afternoon to window-shop, an evening each week to have dinner out, or an anticipated vacation, don’t just dream about it. Make it happen! Find time for yourself.

Find Balance – Be sober [well-balanced and self-disciplined], be alert and cautious at all times … (I Peter 5:8 AMPC)

Remember the old saying, “All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy”? Actually too much of anything can negatively impact your life. All play and no work … no money for life’s necessities. All work and no play … no time to enjoy the efforts of your labor and probable health issues from the constant stress of your job. All sweets in your diet? Or a lifestyle devoid of any exercise … You get the idea. God designed us to live a balanced life with some of everything, but without unhealthy excesses.

God set out plenty of rules for the Israelites in the Old Testament, but you’ll notice that there were also lots of feast days, times of celebration and joy. Some of them lasted a week or more! He told them to enjoy the Sabbaths, to sing and dance and make merry. He wanted them to take time to enjoy the fruits of their labors.

The key is balance, not allowing yourself to be buried in one project to the detriment of everything or everyone else. God told Abraham that He would bless him so that he could be a blessing! Make time for your spouse, your family, friends, playtime and (yes) time for being a blessing to those around you. Wise King Solomon said that every man should eat and drink and enjoy the good of all his labor—it is the gift of God (Eccl. 3:13).

While we’re talking about balance, let’s also mention money issues. We all know that spending more than we make is unbalanced and leads to trouble. It’s also true that being miserly is not God’s intent. Find balance in your spending and giving to create a healthy, uncomplicated financial balance. Tithe ten percent, save ten percent, and wisely allocate the rest.

An uncomplicated life is full of joy, peace and simplicity. It is first of all a mental choice to find peace and joy in each day, refusing strife and worry. It is also a conscious choice to keep your time, money and relationships in balance.

Uncomplicated does not necessarily mean uncrowded or inactive. It simply means making meaningful choices based on your lifestyle and resources so that your life reflects the peace and joy that God placed inside you. You can have an uncomplicated life!

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