DAILY DEVOTIONALS 3.12 thru 3.17




“Live Simply So That Others May Simply Live”

–Mahatma Gandhi

“A devout life does bring wealth, but it’s the rich simplicity of being yourself before God. Since we entered the world penniless and will leave it penniless, if we have bread on the table and shoes on our feet, that’s enough.” 1 Timothy 6: 6-8

Ever heard of Michael Slaughter? He is the Lead Pastor and Chief Dreamer of Ginghamsburg United Methodist Church in Tipp City, Ohio. He leads a large congregation, has written numerous books, and is a dynamic preacher and speaker. One of his favorite quotes on Christian living actually from the Indian activist Mahatma Gandhi. “Live simply so that others may simply live.” It is what he asks of all those who attend his church and it is a practice that he also lives by. A truly bold and profound statement that challenges the norms of our consumer driven society. Often times when I wrestle over purchasing something for myself or my family, I heard those words…“live simply so that other may simply live.” Do I really need it? Can my kids live without it? Is it even necessary or would it just add to the clutter of our lives?

As I sit here and write this devotional, I think to myself, “what a great privilege that I might even be able to make that choice.” While my family are not what you would call wealthy, by any means, we do have stable jobs that generate enough income to provide us a comfortable existence. The little we have left over we have to decide how we want to spend it. I know that is not the case for so many in this world. Their decisions are so much more basic and align with true “self-preservation.” For those living on the margins of society, it is about survival.

It is sad to think that so many people are stuck at the bottom- the lowest level of society, economic class, and even humanity. Another bottom level these individuals are relegated to is the bottom of the pyramid. The pyramid I speak of is Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs (see the graphic). Surely it is reasonable to deduce that our choices impact those around us. The unbridled desire to have more has left others scrambling for what remains. Mired in the basic levels of physiological needs and safety and security…many folks struggle to find higher fulfillment in their lives. There is a complexity to how these scenarios have arisen over time and hard lessons have been learned. Nevertheless, historic practices and their ramifications are not rectified overnight. For instance, segregation and oppressive tactics have led to cyclical poverty, lack of education, restricted access to housing and jobs, high rates of crime and incarceration, and an overall lack of hope for whole groups of people in our society. I saw this first hand as a Legal Aid Attorney. However, as followers of Christ and his way of living, we must stop and ask ourselves how we can truly be “faithful” followers to the teachings of Christ (even if it means I don’t always get what I desire). Jesus certainly provided us with essential teachings of how to lead an abundant life…it is why he came. “…I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.” John 10:10.

The abundant life Jesus was referring to did not come from gaining more power, land, resources, and possessions. The way of living, Jesus promulgated, was one of simplicity as he understood that the Kingdom of God was not built with human riches but on the concepts of love, peace, justice and compassion. Jesus left us with a departing gift of the Holy Spirit as we strive to build the Kingdom on earth. In turn, The Spirit has supplied us with an array of life giving fruits to strengthen us in our endeavors. The fruit of “faithfulness” tastes a lot like the contentment of truly believing that Jesus’s way provides more than enough for me and those in my midst and the promise of so much more in the life to come.



Read & Reflect


Some of Jesus’s most celebrated teachings come from his Sermon on the Mount. Read these scriptures, and after reading each passage, consider how you can be more “faithful” to these teachings. If you struggle to adhere to these particular teachings or find them difficult to practice, ask yourself what keeps you from doing so? Is it past experiences, how you were raised, or ideology? Do you fear not having enough? If you are prone to living simply, how can you address more systematic injustices around you in your community? As you wrestle with these questions and the paradoxical nature of Jesus’s teachings, be open to new possibilities and ways of being “faithful” to living in the ways of our Savior.


  • Matthew 5:1-11
  • Matthew 6:19-21

  • Matthew 6:24

  • Matthew 6:25-31


Breath Prayer


According to the United Methodist Discipleship ministries the Breath Prayer takes the continuous and mechanical motions of our breathing and incorporates words of prayer to create an act that is useful, especially whenever our normal prayer lives are interrupted. In fact, this prayer pattern offers remedies for our anxious minds and bodies on two fronts: we call upon God’s attention to our need, while at the same time, we calm our bodies with the rhythm of breathing.


Use these example of Breath Prayer:

Sustainer God (as you inhale) I have enough (as you exhale)

Loving Provider (as you inhale) Help me find simplicity (as you exhale)

Jesus My Teacher (as you inhale) Lead me in your ways (as you exhale)

Or try creating your own. For more information see www.umcdiscipleship.org and type “Breath Prayer” in the search engine.