My Minimalist Journey
My Minimalist Journey
Last year, on our tax return, I listed out hundreds of items that my husband and I donated to charity. The year before, I did the same thing.
If you walked into our house, you certainly wouldn’t come to the conclusion that we are a “minimalist family,” but we try to be. As the title of Joshua Becker’s blog states, we are “becoming minimalists.” It’s a process of eliminating everything extra in order to live with only those things you love or that are considered essential.
I started my minimalist journey a few years back when I realized all of my “stuff” was causing a lot of extra work and stress in my life. As it turns out, minimalism is very much a Biblical principal.
There is a sense of liberation and freedom that comes with owning fewer things. I have less to maintain. Less to clean and organize. Less to worry about. But I also have MORE. More peace. More time. More of a sense of what’s really important.
I’ve come to realize that my “stuff” is just that: stuff. It doesn’t define me like the world’s story tells me it should.
My husband and I attend Crossroads church in Cincinnati. One of the songs we sing fairly often includes the following lyrics:
“I’ve been deprived of peace, forgotten true prosperity. I’ve chained myself to all that fades. Drank from the cup of emptiness, ate crumbs from the floor. I’ve filled myself with all that fades.”
These lyrics are straight out of the book of Lamentations. I don’t know about you, but I can totally relate. More often than not, I find myself, once again, forgetting the meaning of true prosperity. I have absolutely chained myself to and filled my house with material possessions that fade. But that’s why I love the next line in the song:
“But this I call to mind, therefore, I have hope. Because of the Lord’s great love, I will not be consumed.”
We don’t have to be consumed by consumerism. Our minds don’t have to be consumed with the next car, piece of furniture, or article of clothing that we “need” to buy. Our time doesn’t have to be consumed with adding items to our Amazon wish lists. Because Jesus promises us that everything we need will be provided to us if we seek first His Kingdom.
You see, when we pursue the American Dream or the Story of the World, we might get a whole house full of nice things. But when we look beneath the veneer, all we really find is cups full of emptiness and crumbs on our floors.
But when we choose to live in God’s Story, when we choose His Kingdom first, He provides abundantly more than all we could ever ask or imagine. Yes, He provides for our actual “needs,” but Yahweh is also a lavish God.
There is a richness and abundance that is found in the Story of God that will never be found in the world. It doesn’t make a whole lot of sense, but I’m finding, the less I own, the richer I feel.
The following is an excerpt from my upcoming book, ESCAPE: Break Free from Mediocre Christianity and Embrace the Radical, Set-Apart Life You were Made For. These are probably my favorite paragraphs in the entire book.
Prayers for health, protection, and prosperity are good, but more so, we should be praying for God to wreck our hearts no matter the cost. Comfort and security are not promised to the man or woman who chooses to follow Jesus but rather, trouble, persecution, trials, and even earthly death.
But take heart, dear follower, because He also promises that when we die to self “here,” we gain life “there.” Jesus came that we may have life abundantly, life to the fullest (John 10:10). Not a house to the fullest, not a refrigerator or a bank account to the fullest, but a heart that is overflowing with love, peace, and joy no matter what our earthly circumstances. Dear follower, in this world you will have trouble. You will face difficulty. You will be uncomfortable. But take heart, for Jesus Christ the Lord and King has overcome the world, and He is worth it all.
You just finished reading an excerpt from my upcoming book, ESCAPE: Break Free from Mediocre Christianity and Embrace the Radical, Set-Apart Life You were Made For. If you are not already on my list and would like to receive updates about the book, click here.