The sixth chapter of "Becoming a Woman of Simplicity" is entitled Living in the Basement. We've been discussing how we need to build our relationship with Christ and how we need to simplify our lives so that we can consistently give our lives to Him so that we might follow Him. The analogy Cynthia Heald uses for our spirituality is about the apostle Paul living in a basement. Figuratively, not literally. She quotes Oswald Chambers, who stated:
Most of us are not consistent spiritually because we are more concerned about being consistent externally. In the external expression of things, Paul lived in the basement, while his critics lived on the upper level. And these two levels do not begin to touch each other. But Paul's consistency was down deep in the fundamentals. The great basis of his consistency was the agony of God in the redemption of the world, namely, the Cross of Christ.What we're talking about here is being firmly rooted, having a foundation in simple Biblical truths. If we lay our foundation in the truth, we cannot be swayed into believing what other people are trying to pass off as the truth. It's important to learn all you can - and reading books and going to Christian events is fantastic. It complements what we are learning on this journey. But if we don't have the truth of the Word to hang on to, we haven't established a firm foundation for ourselves as believers. Heald says, "The death of Christ on the cross for our sins, the Atonement, is what kept Paul centered." Over and over again in Scripture, we see God demonstrating his love for us by sacrificing His only son for us so that we might have that eternal reward with Him. We must recognize the importance of our salvation in our relationship with Christ!
If you want to talk about simplicity in a Biblical setting, read these passages:
1 Corinthians 13:1-3 (NIV)
1 If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. 2 If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. 3 If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing.
1 Corinthians 13:13 (NIV)
13 And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.
Love. This is the greatest commandment that God has given to us. Love one another. Love does no wrong to others. If we don't love others, we can't love God. Love carries with it all the qualities that are essential for a life of resting and abiding in Christ - it is patient, it is kind, it is never jealous or proud, it doesn't demand, it keeps no record of past wrongs, it never gives up or loses faith, it is hopeful, it endures through every circumstance.
So what is the foundation that we should be living in? What is our "basement"? Jesus. His death on the cross. The truth that lies in that fact. Love.
reflections on chapter 6 of "becoming a woman of simplicity". more insights to come as i journey through this book...