Simple Advent, Abundant Life: the good life vs. the abundant life

(Wikimedia Commons/Brooklyn Museum)

(Wikimedia Commons/Brooklyn Museum)

by Brenna Davis

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Editor's Note: Welcome to Simple Advent, Abundant Life. These daily Advent reflections will explore connections between simple living and abundant life on the earth. They are inspired by the Advent Simplicity Challenge at the Ignatian Solidarity Network. Sign up here to receive the reflections each day in your inbox.

First week of Advent themeTime

Day 2: Monday, Nov. 30



As Christians, we recognize the abundance of which Jesus spoke as essential to our wholeness. Yet more often than not, we don’t experience or feel that abundance. Could it be that in seeking and attaining more things, we have actually lost something of inestimable value? ... A loss that may in no small measure result from confusing our society’s idea of the  'good life' with the 'abundant life.'

If the good life is materialism and the pursuit of the American Dream, the abundant life is authentic wealth. If the good life is individualistic and me-centered, the abundant life is characterized by extension of compassion to all of creation. For our purposes, the ethos of the abundant life is modeled after the person of Jesus, the things he taught, and the way he lived.

- Michael Schut, Simpler Living, Compassionate Life: A Christian Perspective 

Advertisements and media often promote images of the "good life" that make us think a particular product or service will complete us; however, we know deep in our hearts that true wholeness cannot be provided by things and that unchecked consumption often harms the poorest people in society. In a world where many struggle to meet basic needs, God reminds us that there is more than enough for everyone if we take only what we need and share the rest equitably.

What trappings of the "good life" are stumbling blocks for you? 

What aspects of the abundant life do you hope to integrate into daily living? 

How can the life of Jesus be a guide for you as you strive to live the abundant life? 



Today pick one area of your life where you would intentionally like to simplify. The Simple Living Wheel from the Simplicity Matters Earth Institute provides 16 spokes, or areas of life, that usually attract people to simple living. 

View Day 2 of the Ignatian Solidarity Network Advent Simplicity Calendar to learn more about the Simple Living Wheel today. 

Simple Advent, Abundant Life

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