Sunday, June 5, 2016

The Christian Minimalist

Minimalism is a life style choice, one we as believers need to become intimately acquainted with.  If Christ has taught us anything, it is that when he calls we should surrender all and follow him.  This means committing ourselves completely to him without worry of holding on to our worldly possessions.  I'm not suggesting we take to living on the streets but rather that we focus on the "intentional promotion of the things we most value and the removal of everything that detracts from it."   In other words not living in the culture of consumption, but focusing on doing everything to align with God's commandment that we love our neighbor as ourselves; that we focus our efforts on caring for those in need.  

Reducing our possessions to the things that really matter, the essentials; enables us to be in a position to provide for those who have far less than we do.  Imagine if we stopped purchasing the latest technological gadget (this one applies to me), another article of clothing that will sit in the closet perhaps going unused for some time, another pair of shoes because three brown pairs are never enough, another decoration for the house as if we have any more wall space, and so forth.  As believers, we cannot allow ourselves to fall prey to the culture of consumption that makes shopping fun but limits what we can do for others.  We need to consider how little Christ possessed during his time on earth and how much he willingly gave of himself; the greatest of which was his life on the cross so that we could be blessed today.  Take a look around your home, your apartment, your rooms, your closet, your dressers and consider how much of what you have is more than you truly need.  Be a blessing to your family, friends, neighbors and those who are without by giving your excess to them.  Perhaps you might even make a sacrifice and give beyond your excess, giving to the point of sacrificing your own needs for the benefit of others.

I have started emptying my closets and limiting my possessions, preparing to downsize my home, increasing my contributions to those agencies helping the poorest in our community, and looking for opportunities to love my neighbor as I love myself.  Think about it, being a minimalist just might be more fulfilling than you can imagine.  Just a little advice to go!

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