Why are the basics for living a good life so hard to follow?

The secrets to good health are so simple:

  1. Eat well—fresh fruit and veggies, lean protein, and whole grains
  2. Drink plenty of water
  3. Get 6 to 8 hours of sleep
  4. Exercise regularly
  5. Practice good hygiene

Simple. Basic.

The secrets to success:

  1. Hard work
  2. Diligence
  3. Listening to wise counsel
  4. Generosity
  5. Acquiring and applying knowledge, wisdom, and understanding

Simple. Basic.

The secrets to great relationships:

  1. Clear, loving, and consistent communication
  2. Humility
  3. Service
  4. Acceptance
  5. Support and encouragement

Simple. Basic.

The secrets to intimacy with God:

  1. Accepting His love and forgiveness
  2. Seeking Him through prayer, worship, fasting, and the Word
  3. Extending His love and forgiveness to others
  4. Obedience
  5. Humility

Simple. Basic.

But hard…

Why do we live opposite to most of what’s listed here, yet still expect to live well? We do things our way and expect to have uncommon results. There are laws that require a certain action to be invested in order for things to work out in our favor. They are simple, yet against the grain of our fallen nature; therefore, they are hard. Our nature rebels against doing them.

We are bent toward doing the wrong thing in every area of life. While the principles behind the abundant life Christ died to attain for us are simple and so very basic, the application of them rubs up against our strong will to blaze our own trail.

We have a god complex. It must die.

Being made in the image of God seems to be a double-edged sword. While we are suited to rule and reign, we only find the full potential in that through submission and surrender to God.

Surrender to the basics is a daily discipline in diligence and persistence, of staying aware of the power of the basics and following them. In 1 Corinthians 9:27, the apostle Paul said:

“I discipline my body like an athlete, training it to do what it should.”

Starting with the basics for intimacy with God will align every other basic in our lives.

Have you ever thought about how simple—but hard—the good life is? Why do you think the basics are so hard to follow?

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