20 Ways of Avoiding Consumptive Society

by Jonathan Bailey

There is one book that is striking in its wisdom and practicality. I have found it to be one of the few guides to actual living with Jesus in our modern culture. The book is Freedom of Simplicity, by Richard Foster. It was written in the 80’s but is more relevant today than when it was published. One of the most revealing sections is on personal finance especially avoiding consumptive culture. Here is a list of 20 things to aid you in your struggle for simplicity.

1. Join the revolt against the modern propaganda machine.
2. Pray to not acquire more or desire it.
3. Resist planned obsolescence.
4. Reject any junk mail you can.
5. Stress quality of life above quantity of life.
6. Value music, art, horticulture, significant travel, and books.
7. If you are too busy to read, you’re too busy!
8. Discover prayer as an evening entertainment.
9.  Learn the wonderful truth that to increase quality of life means to decrease material desire, not vice versa. 
10. Turn your back on all high-pressure competitive situations that make climbing the ladder the central focus.
12.  The Fruit of the Spirit is not push, drive, climb, grasp and trample.
13. Never put happiness at center stage.
14. Make recreation healthy, happy and gadget free.
15. Encourage cooperative games and play.
16. Learn to eat sensibly and sensitively.
17. Go without food for one day a week and give any money saved to the poor.
18. Eat out less.
19. Buy things for their usefulness rather than their status. 
20. Stop trying to impress people with your clothes and impress them with your life. 

A final word:
“Simplicity does not mean cheapness. Simplicity resonates more easily with concerns for durability, usability and beauty.”

All material provided by Richard Foster, Freedom of Simplicity, Pgs 128-133.

Seek the kingdom,
Jon

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