Explore
Follow Us

How to live simply and love extravagantly

Here’s a book that will give you some practical steps to become more radical in your faith: Small Footprint, Big Handprint: How to live simply and love extravagantly by Tri Robinson, pastor of Vineyard Boise Church (a 3000 member church in Boise, Idaho). Robinson’s thesis is that “Most Americ…
By Seth Barnes
By Seth Barnes

Here’s a book that will give you some practical steps to become more radical in your faith: Small Footprint, Big Handprint: How to live simply and love extravagantly by Tri Robinson, pastor of Vineyard Boise Church (a 3000 member church in Boise, Idaho).

Robinson’s thesis is that “Most Americans have too much stuff; stuff that often weighs them down and ultimately keeps them from a more simplified, freeing life.” He illustrates by relating how his own life got out of control.  Everything was on the top shelf of his life’s priorities.  It was too complex, too busy and too out-of-control.  “I realized that the great things that truly gave me joy and the things I deeply desired to invest my life in were being pushed aside for dozens of merely good things.”

He defines simple living as “a lifestyle that allows us to focus on the things that are most important to us, such as relationships both inside and outside of our families, without being encumbered by an inordinate amount of responsibilities that demand our attention.”

The book dives into some of my favorite themes – the link between spiritual adventure and simplicity, contenting that an adventure with God begins with simplicity.  It makes the point that “You can’t embark on a treacherous hike with 200 pounds of gear strapped to your back….”

So, radical faith is best expressed when we’re living simply, unencumbered by the things of this world.

Robinson links the excess in our lifestyles to a casual faith that renders us ineffective.  “Now more than ever,” he says, “people who profess to be followers of Jesus must resist casual Christianity in lieu of coming to the aid of a world in decline.  Everywhere we look, there are images of a suffering humanity just begging for the practical demonstrations of the Gospel.”

One simple test of our propensity to excess is to ask, “What do I struggle to let go of?”  We are what we can’t let go of. One of the greatest tragedies in humanity is for a person to come to the end of his or her life and realize that it was misspent.

Robinson challenges us to look at the snapshot of our life comprised of our time, energy, and money.  And then ask ourselves, “What needs to change?”

The bottom line of a life lived well is that your life reflects uniqueness in Christ rather than just blending in with everyone else.  Robinson’s challenges you to ask yourself, “Do my time, energy, and money reflect my passion and commitment to Christ?”

Comments (8)

  • “Keep deception and falsehood far from me,
    Give me neither poverty nor riches;
    Feed me with the food that is my portion, (daily bread)
    Lest I be full and deny Thee and say, Who is the Lord?
    Or lest I be in want and steal,
    And profane the name of my God. Proverbs 30:8-9

  • I decided after Swazi that I needed to go back and spend time in “business school” which to me means re-reading the book of Proverbs.

    One of the things that struck me was Proverbs’ standard of living: abundant food. Simple enough. But my standard of living is so way beyond that. Food is a nuisance if its not prepared right; I shop for taste, not necessity; I use food for comfort and excess and then spend $$$ on exercise and doctor bills because I’ve eaten too much.

    My lifestyle and my money go to sustaining my extraordinary levels of entertainment and comfort. That’s my standard of living.

    I hunger for simplicity and the ability to be mobile. I want to be that kind of person. It will be a while til I get there, but that’s my heart. Heidi’s too.

    Anyone out there needing to simplify: want to join a simplicity team and encourage one another, pray for one another, give practical encouragement and wisdom to one another and see what happens over the course of a year? Just a thought…

  • This simple question you end with Seth, “Do my time, energy, and money reflect my passion and commitment to Christ?” packs a very powerful punch and brings me up-short. I want to commit this question to memory. I have always heard that from one’s death bed, you never wish you had spent more hours at work, had more money, material possessions or wasted energy on being angry, envious or jealous. While we are still alive on earth, let’s put our time, energy and money while where our heart of hearts is…in Jesus Christ.

  • Seth-This is so timely for me and I’ve got a Border’s gift card for my upcoming birthday that I’ll use to buy this book. I’ve really been asking God over the last several days these type of questions. And yesterday, after seeing a horrific video from Uganda, I realized that I really, really, really wanted to take some major steps toward personally living more simply and learning to do with much less…including food….so I am able to do more for “the least of these”. But to be honest, there is NO ONE around me living this way to help show me practically steps to take. I have been wrestling with this today, asking God for guidance. Maybe this is His answer in part.

    And Gabe, if you come up with a way for people to band together in support and encouragement, let me know.

    Thanks and bless you!
    Elysa

  • Drewe Llyn Jeffcoat

    Extremely profound. The quote “We are what we can’t let go of.” Just slapped me in the face. I’m writing it down as a reminder. Was that your quote or Tri Robinson’s? Thank you for so much food for thought.

  • I’m living life about as unencumbered of “things” right now as I ever have but I’m still encumbered with the stress and worries of “life”. Feel free to bring me a copy of the book when you come to Ukraine. 🙂

Comments are closed.

Subscribe to Radical Living:

Receive updates on the latest posts as Seth Barnes covers many topics like spiritual formation, what if means to be a christian, how to pray, and more. Radical Living blog is all about a call to excellence in ministry, church, and leadership -as the hands and feet of Jesus.

Seth Barnes

I'm motivated to join God in his global reclamation project. He's on the move, setting his sons and daughters free from their places of captivity. And he's partnering with those of us who have been freed to go and free others.



© Adventures In Missions. All rights reserved. Privacy Policy