23 Things Jesus had to Say about Simple Living
Simple living never seemed like a spiritual practice to me, until I simplified my life and my soul sprung to new life. You won’t find the words ‘simple living’ or ‘minimalism’ in the verses below, but Jesus sure had a lot to say about living a life of focus, humility, intentionality, simplicity, and service to others.
The deeper I go into simple living I can’t help but feel that this is what God meant for my life. This slow, essentialist way of living is full of opportunity to experience God in the everyday, in the smallest of undistracted and unhurried moments.
If you aren’t sure about the soul of minimalism, if you are on the fence about how this minimalism movement can be a spiritual practice take a peek at what Jesus had to say in the gospel of Matthew and it might sway toward simple and soul living.
23 Times Jesus Talked about Simple and Intentional Living in the Gospel of Matthew
- Matthew 5:37 – All you need to say is simply ‘Yes’ or ‘No’; anything beyond this comes from the evil one.
- 5:42 – Give to the one who asks you, and do not turn away from the one who wants to borrow from you.
- 6:2-4 – So when you give to the needy, do not announce it with trumpets, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and on the streets, to be honored by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving may be in secret. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.
- 6:7-13 – And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words. Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him. “This, then, is how you should pray:
“Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us today our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.”
- 6:19 – Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy; and where thieves break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
- 6:24 – No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.
- 6:25 – Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food and the body more than clothes?
- 6:33 – But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.
- 7: 12 – So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.
- 10:8 –freely you have received; freely give.
- 10:39 – Whoever finds their life will lose it and whoever loses their life for my sake will find it.
- 11:28-30 – Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.
- 13:22 – The seed falling among the thorns refers to someone who hears the word, but the worries of this life and the deceitfulness of wealth choke the word, making it unfruitful.
- 13:45 – Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant looking for fine pearls. When he found one of great value, he went away and sold everything he had and bought it.
- 16:24-28 – Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will find it. What good will it be for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul? Or what can anyone give in exchange for their soul? For the Son of Man is going to come in his Father’s glory with his angels, and then he will reward each person according to what they have done.
- 18:3 – Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of Heaven. Therefore, whoever takes the lowly position of this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. And whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes me.
- 19:21 – If you want to be perfect, go, sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.
- 20:19 – So the last will be first, and the first will be last.
- 22:37 – Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: Love your neighbor as yourself.
- 23:12 – For those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.
- 23:27-28 – Woe to you, teachers of the Law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You are like whitewashed tombs, which look beautiful on the outside but on the inside are full of the bones of the dead and everything unclean. In the same way, on the outside you appear to people as righteous but on the inside you are full of hypocrisy and wickedness.
- 25:34 – Then the King will say to those on his right, “come, you who are blessed by my father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.
- 25:40 – Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.
If I compare my old way of life, caught up in comparison, busyness, people-pleasing, and over spending to this simple, slow, humble, hospitable, faithful, and generous life Jesus calls me to – then minimalism is certainly worth the trade-off.
There is a reason why minimalism is so transformative – it’s brings us back to our soul.