Monday, May 04, 2009

Keeping It Simple!

I had to wash my hair. It seemed unfair – I was on vacation after all. I figured I was clean and didn’t need a shower. I spent an hour in the chlorinated pool. Chlorine bleach is a cleanser, right? How much cleaner can I be? But the chlorine had turned my hair to straw, so it seemed best to hit the shower for a shampoo.

Thats not such a big deal at my house. I buy a large jug of shampoo at Sam's and use it till it runs out. But I was a guest and the bathroom had a collection of shampoos. And that was where the problem started.

I remember when shampoo just cleaned hair. But none of the shampoos in the shower were satisfied with simple cleaning. They wanted to change my life. One shampoo promised to “amplify” my hair. I didn’t want big hair, just clean. Another assured me it could “correct and restructure” my hair. I like my hair. I don’t claim it is the best in the world, but does it need to be corrected? My grandpa was bald in high school, so since I am nearly 52 and still have hair which is only partially gray, I feel I am ahead of the game. Restructuring seems extreme. Another shampoo would “clarify” my hair. But isn’t clear hair about the same as bald? What is an old-fashioned old-fogy supposed to do? My hair is clean now; volumized, amplified, corrected, restructured, and clarified!

Only in America does someone need a doctorate to understand shampoo. I long for the days of “lather, rinse, repeat.”

What makes us take simple things and complicate them? We have complicated the Christian life as well. The Christian life may not be easy, but neither is it complicated.

God’s Word is amazing in both its beauty and its simplicity. Some scholars forget the doctrine of the simplicity of scripture. Because of the power of the Holy Spirit, you don’t need a degree to read God’s Word. You don’t need a secret decoder ring to understand its truth. Sound theology is built on a clear and simple reading of God’s Word.

Scripture is God-breathed and is therefore useful. It teaches us the ways of God – who he is, how he works, what he desires. It rebukes us when we go astray, showing us wrong doctrine or aberrant behavior. It does not just condemn a sinner, but corrects him, showing him how to leave the wrong path and return to the right one. Finally, God’s Word trains us in righteousness, teaching us to walk on the right path and break the old patterns of sin. That is the glory of God’s Simple Word.

When the Word does its work, we are prepared for every good work – ready to be all God wants us to be and do all God wants us to do.

Do you want to grow as a Christian? It is not complicated. Immerse yourself in God’s Word and the Holy Spirit goes to work. Read what God says about your life, then by the power of God’s Spirit, do it! God renews your mind with the truth and begins to change your behavior to conform you to the image of Christ. The Holy Spirit enables you to obey what God’s Word commands, and strengthens you to endure in obedience when things get tough.

Maybe I’d better take a shower after all. If only I can find some clarifying soap.


chris said...


I enjoyed your post and can not agree with you more: things are become way to complicated.
I recently wrote a book about prayer and simplifying prayer to discover God's power in our lives.
If you have time, check it out at; just type in Praying the Prayers of the Apostle Paul.

Catherine said...

paradox of choice (why i shop at fareway)