Living Simply to Focus on God

Justin called from Sacramento for advice on living minimally, in the world but not of the world. He explained that he is moving into his first place after college and the Army, and wants to live simply and keep his focus on what is important. He asked The Patrick Madrid Show guest host Chris Aubert for advice on remaining humble and not getting caught up in worldly pursuits.

“The single most important thing you can do is stay true to your faith. The number one thing is your faith,” said Aubert. He reminded Justin to keep God first, others second, and himself third.

“I’m not in charge, God’s in charge. And others are more important than I am. So if we keep that in the focus of your thoughts, Justin, whatever you do is going to be right. It’s that old thing—what would Jesus do?”

Living in the world requires that we interact with or do business with people or companies that aren’t totally in line with our morals and beliefs. “In today’s world … I think it’s a virtual impossibility to completely and totally avoid everything,” said Aubert. If you are seeking out and supporting businesses that are not in line with our faith because they support things that are not in line with our faith, that’s inadvisable. It’s another thing to purchase necessary items to feed and support your family.

“If you think about the chain of events from things that end up on your shelf at the supermarket, for example, it would be impossible—unless you grow your own food all the time—to not have something in that chain that is less than perfect for you,” said Aubert. “So I think it’s understanding that in the world we live in, you have to on some level deal with things that aren’t good. It’s a question of keeping the right perspective.”

Minimalism and not surrounding yourself with excessive and unnecessary material goods can help us to keep the right perspective. Aubert spoke about a documentary he’s seen about minimalism. “They don’t wear the same pair of underwear every day; they have like, five shirts. They drive but they don’t drive Mercedes Benz. They have a television set but they have one—they don’t have fourteen of them. … In my house we have TVs, we have computers but they’re not the center of our lives. I think if you keep the Church and your faith and God first, and look at everything through that lens then that’s a great start and I’m fairly confident that God will never steer us in the wrong direction.”

What ways might you simplify your life to free up more space and resources for God?

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Lindsey is a wife, mother, and contributing author at Relevant Radio. She holds a degree in Journalism and Advertising from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. Lindsey enjoys writing, baking, and liturgical living with her young family.