A simple life in the Fear of God is better than a rich life with a ton of headaches. Proverbs 15:16
We live in a celebrity-focused society that markets fame and fortune as the highest human achievement. Thus, many people are selling their souls to the devil to achieve fame and fortune. Others work themselves to exhaustion trying to make that extra dollar even if that means destroying their families.
I read an article yesterday that Tom Brady and his wife Gisele were getting a divorce. According to reported news, the divorce is because Brady reneged on his promise to retire from playing football. Brady retired last year but changed his mind and decided to make a comeback. One can surmise the allure of having tens of thousands of fans praising his skills as a football player is too much for Brady to give up.
Like Brady, most people want to remain on top. We covet the recognition of others, and we want to be noticeable. Many go to extremes to measure up to the high standards set by high achievers, and they look upon a simple life as a punishment.
In today’s text, the writer reminds us that a simple life in the fear of God is better than a rich life with a ton of headaches. Whenever I start to feel like a failure for my many deficiencies in life, the Lord reminds me that my best deeds are but filthy rags in His sight (Isaiah 64:6). My purpose in life is not to be rich and famous. It is to do Jesus’ great commission work and help to turn this physical realm into the kingdom of God. No one who is committed to God’s kingdom work is ever a failure. To receive the eternal crown promised to us in glory is the greatest achievement for any human being.
Behold, everything in this physical realm will pass away. At some point, all living beings will have to exit time and come before the presence of God for judgment; and only what we do for God will have any value. Therefore, believers should do their best to live simple lives so they can walk in the peace of God. Even believers who are rich and famous should heed the wisdom of Proverbs 15:16.
Do not underestimate the beauty and benefits of a simple life. We can spare ourselves many unnecessary griefs by doing simple things continuously. Too many people are struggling with high anxiety and stress-related illnesses like heart failure, cancer, and many other serious diseases because their lives are so hectic and complicated. A simple life can help us to live in contentment and appreciate the many blessings so many takes for granted.
Some of the happiest people I know are focused on just doing simple things to complement their simple lives. I also know some people who are considered highly successful by the world’s standards but struggle to enjoy their success peacefully. The point is that it is not our position or possessions that give us fulfillment. I am not saying it is wrong to achieve wealth. But even a wealthy life should be lived in simplicity.
In the American superhero drama called Superman, Clark Kent tries his best to live a simple life. The simple life Superman lives as Clark Kent is filled with romantic episodes with his beloved Lois Lane. Clark Kent is a reporter with a mother who adores him and a life that is uneventful and simple. But as Superman, he always faces fierce enemies and continuously tries to save the planet from destruction. The life of the celebrated Superman—the savior and protector of planet earth—is always perilous. He could not enjoy a loving relationship with Lois Lane as Superman. But Clark Kent often glides through his simple life without a lot of fanfare.
Most people have gifts and talents that when used effectively can give them a superman-like appeal to those who benefit from their gifts and talents. However, we should still try to remain like Clark Kent and continue to live a simple life to avoid the many headaches that come with fame and fortune. We should have trusted people to help us remain humble and encourage us to live simple life.
Questions for Personal Reflection
How would describe your lifestyle?
Why is a simple life worth pursuing?
Prayer- Blessed Lord, please give me the wisdom to pursue a simple life. May I not become discontented when I am not recognized and celebrated like many of my peers. Remind me to delight in the simple things in life and be content in every situation.