In order to simplify your life, you must choose those things that are needful, as Mary did, instead of simply doing what would seem good or right to the natural mind.
Choosing things that aren’t needful will always produce cares and anxiety (Luke 10:41).
Anytime you feel uptight or anxious about something, look to see if you’re doing things that are not needful. Because doing things that are not necessary—even if they’re good—will always produce complications somewhere.
Another indication that we’ve chosen something not needful is the presence of a critical disposition. Notice Martha’s complaint to Jesus: “Lord, dost thou not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Bid her therefore that she help me” (Luke 10:40 KJV).
Those who are encumbered with life’s complications tend to be critical of others.
Martha loved Jesus, but she was complaining to Him about Mary. She served Him and even stood in His presence, doing things that seemed right to her. But the very fact that a critical spirit began to rise up in her against her sister—who seemed to be more blessed than she—was a warning sign that there were too many complications in her life.
The very presence of criticism along with anxiety meant she needed to simplify her life.
It also indicated she was not sitting at the feet of Jesus. Unless we spend time at the feet of Jesus, we’ll never know the Lord in the kind of life-changing way that makes religion personal instead of an empty ritual.
When we identify these earmarks of a complicated life, we must repent and turn back to God. Find that place of stillness and begin to simplify your life.
Obviously, we have responsibilities we can’t ignore; there are things that must be addressed and attended to. Finding a place of stillness and simplifying our lives doesn’t mean we should ignore our responsibilities.
For example, we cannot just lay down our responsibilities at work so we can find a place of stillness. And we must not shirk our responsibilities as a spouse or parent for the sake of seeking God more.
In fact, it doesn’t mean we necessarily do anything suddenly or make any drastic changes. We can begin by prayerfully seeking God’s direction under the guidance of the Holy Spirit. He will show us how to make changes in our behavior and actions that will begin the process of simplifying our lives.