As some of you know my husband and I (more him than me) have been minimalists for years. I hate clutter and he hates the thought of going out and buying the latest and greatest just to do it. His part is pretty simple since we can’t afford the latest and greatest anyway. We fix what’s broke and continue to use it. I love technology so I would be the one to toss something that works fine for the latest and greatest. Or I would have, except now my technology means more than just a screen and some buttons. My iPhone 7 belonged to my dad who passed in February of this year and my laptop was my late uncle’s who we lost in 2012. I wouldn’t trade either of them for anything.
I’m getting off track here a bit. My question is, can you be a Christian and a minimalist? Not only can you, but the Bible says you should. As always, I prefer the ESV, but feel free to look the verses up for yourself.
Matthew 6: 19-21 says, “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”
If you know that this world isn’t all there is, why do you need so much stuff? Does every item you own have a purpose? Does it make you happy? I’m willing to say no about my own belongings. A lot of them do, but many things are just taking up space that I don’t need.
Last night we watched The Minimalists on Netflix. It amazed us that we aren’t the only people who don’t use 40% of their house. That’s why we bought Berry Cottage and decided to move. The five of us don’t use 1,200 square feet for anything other than to store the stuff we don’t use. That’s it.
The next verses come from Matthew 19:21-22, “Jesus said to him, “If you would be perfect, go, sell what you possess and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me. When the young man heard this he went away sorrowful, for he had many possessions”.
You may be laughing, thinking that you aren’t rich so this doesn’t apply to you. Guess what, if you live in the USA you are richer than most people in the world. There are people starving to death and dying of dehydration while you’re shopping on Amazon and drinking a glass of water. I’m not trying to make you feel guilty, but I do want you to look at your stuff and think about. Think about every purchase from now on.
Before you go shopping next time ask yourself a few questions.
- Why am I shopping?
- Do I need this?
- Am I going to use this often or is it going to collect dust in a month?
Answer yourself honestly. You may not become a minimalist, but at least maybe you can think about what you’re buying and why. You don’t have to buy the latest iPhone just because Apple says so. Think for yourself.