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Doing the “Right Things”

October 30, 2006

I was reminded of something that I read several years ago that continues to ring in my head and guide my heart.

For many people, simplifying means nothing more than “doing less.” But simplifying is not so much about doing fewer things as it is about doing the right things.

…For even the “ideal” simple spiritual life (whatever that is) will still be a busy one. Like Jesus and the apostle Paul, anyone devoted to loving God and people will lead a full and active life. But such a life will also be more focused, fruitful, and satisfying because it emphasizes the right priorities.

— Donald Whitney, Simplify Your Spiritual Life, NavPress, p. 13

I shared this idea with a friend last week and I am brought back to it tonight as I think about my life. I have experienced a lot of frustration and emptiness recently. Life has been full.

  • My family welcomed our third child two months ago. Adjusting to being parents of 3 has been a full experience.
  • My office is completely different both physically and philosophically. And all of that is still being shaped. And I was away for the first month on baby leave so when I reentered the work environment at the beginning of this month, I felt like I was coming in mid-stream and have gotten swept up in the current.

Over and over again, this concept of simplicity has been ringing in my head as my life has felt full and my spirit has felt empty. I need to be doing the right things. It means that I need to come back and practice priorities.
One reason I like Donald Whitney’s perspective is that when life gets full, I am tempted to want to do less. But that is not how God would have me to respond. He wants me to do the right things. And not in my power but in the power of the Holy Spirit.

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