Michael always says, 'K-I-S-S, keep it simple, stupid.' Great advice, hurts my feelings every time." - Dwight Schrute
Perhaps you are familiar with the phrase, "keep it simple, stupid." As a freshman in high school, my science teacher and wrestling coach introduced me to the "KISS Principle". For the uninitiated, the KISS Principle is to avoid making things complicated for the sake of being clever. Simplicity is typically quicker to implement and is more efficient and effective in its results. Therefore, keep it simple, stupid.
Yet, the KISS Principle applies to much more than creating simple systems, rather than clever systems, to do complicated things. In my experience, my desire to complicate things is not to appear clever, but to pass the buck.
For example, when my wife and I are fortunate enough to share mornings together (a rarity due to our schedules), I love asking her to make pancakes and bacon. Firstly, I really enjoy breakfast foods. Secondly, she always does a better job than me. My bacon is always burnt and so are my pancakes. However, making pancakes or bacon is not a complicated process. In fact, it's rather simple. The problem that I personally run into is that it requires a certain amount of patience not demanded by scrambled eggs and toast. This little wrinkle of "difficulty" is enough to make me want to avoid the task altogether on a weekend morning, but it does not make the task any less simple.
By making a simple task seem complex, I've given myself an excuse to not act. In moments like these, the KISS Principle confronts my laziness and desire to avoid responsibility. Here, keeping it simple isn't to maximize efficiency or effectiveness, its to remove the veneer of ignorance that's masking my laziness.
As a Christian, this confronts me in more menacing ways. When I read the dictates of Jesus Christ, many of them are difficult. I leave myself in limbo by wondering how to intrepret them.
How can I be expected to act on something I don't understand? If I'm not sure whether God wants me to do "this" or "that", then I better wait and find out before I go on and make a big mistake.
There is wisdom in this line of thinking. However, we must examine ourselves. Are we taking simple -yet difficult- teachings and complicating them in order to avoid the difficulties that are sure to come?
As Christians we must not avoid the difficulties of obedience to Christ by complicating his commands. Not everything in life is simple and there are many things about God that go beyond our comprehension, but this should not be our default posture.
As Christians we must not avoid the difficulties of obedience to Christ by complicating his commands.
Keep it simple, stupid, and don't create complexity as an excuse for laziness, lack of trust, and disobedience.