“Simple” and “Easy” Are Two Different Words

So are “hard” and “complicated.”

He has shown you, O man, what is good;
And what does the Lord require of you
But to do justly,
To love mercy,
And to walk humbly with your God?

(Micah 6:8)

Simple. Not easy. Hard. Not complicated.

We can talk all we want about what it means to follow God, but it always comes back to Micah 6:8. The rest is just exposition. How do we do those things? How do we do justly? How do we love mercy? How do we walk humbly with our God? None of these answers are complicated—but they’re not easy, either.

You could say the same thing about creating gemstones. You know how most gemstones are made?

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Pressure. Lots and lots of pressure combined with lots of heat and lots of time. That’s the only major thing separating a lump of coal from a diamond—simple requirements, but you just try to squeeze a lump of coal into a diamond this weekend and you’ll see how something can be simple and difficult at the same time.

God intended to transform us into gemstones. His gemstones. “They shall be Mine,” He says, “on the day that I make them My jewels” (Malachi 3:17).

The path to becoming one of God’s precious jewels is not a complicated one. Hard, yes. It’s the hardest journey you’ll ever undertake. But at the same time, it’s also the simplest.

Do justly.
Love mercy.
Walk humbly.

Understanding each of these phrases and putting them into practice is hard. We’re talking “it’s going to take a lifetime” hard—not because they’re complicated, but because of the effort involved. We’re squeezing coal into diamonds here, folks. This isn’t an overnight project. But you know what? We were called to do hard things. Tough things. Difficult things. Things we’re not naturally inclined to do. And we’re called to do them simply because they’re the right thing to do.

Human nature tends to lead us down the path of least resistance. We don’t ask “What’s best?” as often as we ask “What’s easiest?” The problem is that the easy way means skirting around the hard way, and the hard way is typically God’s way.

The real irony, though, is that by taking the easy way—by stripping away God’s laws and refusing His instructions—we open the door to a complicated world filled with gray areas and impossible decisions.

It all comes down to a choice. Do you want simple but hard, or easy but complicated? It’s one or the other. Obeying God means a lifetime of struggling with your human nature while you strive to live according to a very simple code. Disobeying God means giving into your human nature and making easy choices with incredibly difficult consequences—”for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it” (Matthew 7:13).

The path to becoming jewels, though—that’s simple. Always has been.

Do justly.
Love mercy.
Walk humbly with your God.

The pressure you’re feeling just means it’s working.

Until next time,
Jeremy

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