So…I have written about this subject before (see here: https://drjohnjackson.com/simplicity-and-complexity/
I guess that means I have more to say about the subject, or that I keep struggling with it. Or both.
At any rate, I was giving a devotional talk recently and I was describing the tension between simplicity and complexity (see my previous writing). I quoted the Apostle Paul in 2 Corinthians 11:3 where he says he is concerned that we could be “robbed of the simplicity of our devotion to Christ” . I remain convinced that there is genius in continuing to go towards simplicity AFTER understanding and discerning the complexity of a matter.
Here is what I mean by that…simplicity “before” complexity is often SIMPLISTIC. The truth is, most subjects are complex (eg. justice, immigration, political compromise, etc). Being SIMPLISTIC is not the goal.
However, once one mines the complexity of a subject…for instance…it is a complex thing to know that our sin required Jesus, God Himself, to die upon the cross as a just penalty for our guilt. That is indeed complex. But what is SIMPLE is that God did that because He loved us so much and therefore gave Himself and showered us with grace, His undeserved favor. That is SIMPLICITY after complexity.
I wonder about the ministries and organizations we lead. Have we worked hard at understanding the complexities of our mission and task? Then, having worked hard at understanding our reality, have we been equally diligent to discover the SIMPLICITY that lies after the complexity.
Romans 14:17 is one such amazing verse in Scripture: “For the Kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit”. That is a fantastically SIMPLE truth that is made all the more powerful for the theological, cultural, and social complexity that it resolves.
I’m praying that I will continue to lean in and experience SIMPLICITY after I have understood and discerned the COMPLEXITY of our present hour. I hope you can experience Romans 14:17 type of simplicity as well.