A major office supply company has a slogan: “That was easy.” They even sell a big red button that you can press and hear that exclamation. While that might be cute, if you expect everything to be easy, you are going to be frustrated and bewildered much of the time. Life has taught me that.

It has been said that nothing is simple but in fact, a lot of things are simple. That is not the same as being easy.

Personal financial management is simple. Spend less than you earn. Simple, yes. Easy, no. In spite of the simplicity, living that way can be hard. There are many things to be desired. It seems at times you just have to have more. And there are more “buy now, pay later” plans than you can shake a stick at. Disciplined living is the antidote to frivolously wasting your money. It is not easy.

Good health habits are simple. Eat right. Exercise. Get enough sleep. Unless there are hereditary factors that affect one’s health, the answer to good health is simple. There would not be so many unhealthy people if it was easy.

The principles of safe driving are simple:  mind your speed, be courteous, watch the other drivers, avoid distractions. Simple. But if it was easy there would be much fewer accidents and injuries.

The key to good interpersonal relationships is simple. Treat everyone the way you want to be treated. How hard is that to understand? Saying it and knowing it is easy. Practicing it can be tough.

The Ten Commandments are very clear. Simple. Keeping all of them is hard.

Jesus taught us to be generous. “Give away your life; you’ll find life given back, but not merely given back—given back with bonus and blessing. Giving, not getting, is the way. Generosity begets generosity” (Luke 6:38, The Message). Simple but if it was easy we would not hold on so tightly to what is “ours.” Greed would not be so common.

The Apostle Paul said he knew what he ought to do. How he should live. He said, “I obviously need help! I realize that I don’t have what it takes… I decide to do good, but I don’t really do it; I decide not to do bad, but then I do it anyway… It happens so regularly that it’s predictable… I’ve tried everything and nothing helps. I’m at the end of my rope. Is there no one who can do anything for me?”

“The answer, thank God, is that Jesus Christ can and does. He acted to set things right in this life of contradictions…” (Romans 7:15-25).

The life of faith and faithfulness is no walk in the park. It is not easy. We don’t have to be “perfect” but we must keep on pursuing the goal of maturity knowing that we are not alone. God is on our side and the Holy Spirit is present to aid us in our efforts.

Jamie Jenkins