Back in 2003 after having spent the year before reading Sarah Ban Breathnach's book "Simple Abundance" I took her suggestion to heart and wrote my own daily devotional. Each day I took a line or two from one of the various spiritual authors from the last three centuries I was reading and wrote my own thoughts on the subject. I then looked for a scripture that illustrated the truth that had been revealed to me. What follows is the result.

"Our greatest bondage is to have our own way; our greatest freedom is to let God have His way." Warren Wiersbe

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

November 2

“Simplicity tells us to ask for no more than we need; stewardship reminds us that we need less if we take care of what we have.  Simplicity insists that we get rid of encumbrances; stewardship helps us decide what are encumbrances and what are not.....If a possession, or a task, is an encumbrance, using it properly rapidly becomes much more trouble than it is worth, and the possession falls into disrepair, or the task remains constantly undone.” Bill Ashworth, Oregon, 1986, Daily Readings from Quaker Writings, 10/11

Simplicity appeals to me, but being a person of many possessions, because I save things that most people get rid of when they buy new things, I’ve believed I could never achieve that lifestyle.  Having this distinction between stewardship and simplicity is helpful because it gives me a ruler by which to measure my possessions. I realize I need to declare a moratorium on acquisition until I’ve organized and repaired what I already have.  Whether it’s never-used clothing, books, and household items or more flowerbeds than I can manage to keep weeded, I need to think in terms of stewardship first. This will help me to see what I can and cannot manage as well as what is important and what is not.  This applies to our relationships as well.  If we have more friends than we need, we will be in danger of neglecting most of them and never quite connect with any of them in a meaningful way.  God has called us to be stewards of the earth and all its provisions.  He has also given us the people that matter in our lives.  Let us not neglect any of God’s gifts.

“Every good endowment and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change.”  James 1:17

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