Career Development

Fasting & Simplicity

After Adam had passed through the center of himself and emerged on the other side to escape from God by putting himself between himself and God, he had mentally reconstructed the whole universe in his own image and likeness. - Thomas Merton, The New Man.

Adam's choice to become his own arbiter of good and evil brought some surprises with it. His world must have seemed terribly wobbly and insecure with himself at the axis instead of God. Doubting the goodness of God's directions, he assumed responsibility for his own happiness. "If it feels good, do it!" expresses this attitude of independence and obsession with self in modern terms. And while there's nothing wrong with feeling good, it is so much better to know that God has our best interests at heart and can be trusted, even when you don't get your own way. This lesson explores the disciplines of detachment—fasting and simplicity. It will guide you to a freeing understanding that you are not the center of existence and that your true identity is found in trustful obedience to the One who created you and continually calls you into His life.


  1. Open the PowerPoint or PDF for this lesson.
  2. Listen to Dr. Bekker's presentation below, following along on the PowerPoint/PDF.
  3. Use Neal's video comments (below, left) and "Doing the Stuff handout" to help you process further.
  4. Please provide your feedback.
  5. Share your reactions to the lesson and reflections in the Forum box below.


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Other resources

Spiritual Disciplines for Ordinary People by Keith Drury
The Way of Perfection by Teresa of Avila (1515-1582 AD)
Simplicity by John Michael Talbot


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