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Are you overrun by your to-do list? Do you feel overwhelmed and utterly exhausted? So many lists may drive you nuts, but what I’m about to share with you is a list that will make everything in your life more peaceful and simple.
I recall a time when I was going on and on, complaining to God about my busy schedule. How could anyone be expected to juggle everything that I had on my plate? After a while, it hit me—I was the one who made my schedule, and nobody could change it but me. And while we can simplify our calendar, a truly simplified life comes from changing our mindset.
Most people live complicated lives that leave them frustrated and confused, weary and worn out. But I have good news: Your life does not have to be this way. Jesus offers us a new way of living, and I believe it is a simple, yet powerful way that enables us to enjoy our life.
So even if your calendar still feels full, here are three practical steps you can take to simplify your life by simplifying your mind:
1. Put God first. In Luke 10:38-42, we read about two sisters, Mary and Martha, who spent time with Jesus in their home. Martha kept busy serving the guests and keeping the house clean, while Mary sat at the feet of Jesus, listening to His every word. Martha got upset that her sister wasn’t helping with the housework, but Jesus commended Mary’s decision and told Martha she was so busy that she was missing the point of His visit—spending time with Him.
I’ve learned we make time for what’s important to us. Personally, I’ve made it a habit to go to bed on time so I’m able to wake up and spend quality time with God before I have to go on with the rest of my day. If I went to bed whenever I felt like it, I would sabotage my time with God—the very thing I need to help me get through my day.
Try prioritizing God in your life by putting Him into your schedule and working everything else around Him.
2. Don’t worry. I used to be a very anxious person because I grew up in an unstable, abusive household. As I’ve grown closer to God and learned to place my trust in Him, I’ve developed a calmer, more peaceful mind with His help.
If you’re thinking, “But Joyce, I can’t help it! I can’t stop worrying,” then I want you to know there is hope. Whenever God instructs us to do something, He also gives us the ability to do it. Pray and ask God for the strength to stop worrying (see Philippians 2:13; 4:6-7).
Practice living one day at a time; give yourself—your thoughts, your conversation, every part of you—to the day at hand. Instead of worrying, believe God and watch Him work on your behalf. This will help make your life less complicated.
3. Just be you. For many years, I tried to be just like other people. I tried to pray like them, act like them and even look like them. This left me feeling worn-out and frustrated because I wasn’t being the person God created me to be. Eventually, I realized God just wants me to be myself, and it’s much simpler to be me anyway.
Psalm 139:14 says, “I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made…” (NIV).
God created each one of us to be individual, unique and irreplaceable. You are one of a kind! And no one else can be just like you. He wants you to like yourself—the person He created you to be! As you pursue a personal relationship with Christ, you will discover your true worth as a child of God, and you won’t feel the need to compare yourself or compete with anyone.
Simplifying your life may seem impossible, especially when you feel like you are constantly running. But when you begin prioritizing your relationship with God and spending more time in His Word, you will be amazed at how your mindset shifts. You’ll be able to relax, take a deep breath, and enjoy the simple life.
Joyce Meyer is a New York Times bestselling author and founder of Joyce Meyer Ministries, Inc. She has authored more than 140 books, including “Battlefield of the Mind” and “Loving People Who Are Hard to Love” (FaithWords). She hosts the Enjoying Everyday Life radio and TV programs, which air on hundreds of stations worldwide. For more information, visit www.joycemeyer.org.
Please note: The views and opinions expressed throughout this publication and/or website are those of the respective authors and do not necessarily reflect those of Joyce Meyer Ministries.