The StartThis past year I have made a dedication to give more as I try to grow in my spiritual walk with JESUS. It all came to a head as I was looking at my first contract I signed as a teacher too long ago to want to talk about. I still consider myself a young man but I have to admit as I look around at the new teachers in the building , including my former students, I am not such a young man anymore. But I digress ,, While looking at the stub I began thinking about a conversation I was having with my wife when we where just talking of getting married. I was telling her about some financial issues I was having and how I just needed $300 more a month, "I would be living really good. " Once married we where on double income and we was still having meetings together wondering where our money was going. We then naturally continuing in the American dream began thinking about Children and I got a raise just in time. " I should be ok once I get the raise". Years later as I type on my macbook air on the island of the open concept kitchen, in the suburban house that doubled the size of our condo I think about my current pay check, as much as mines and my wife check at that time combined, and I now know, it wasn't the money. The raises over the years never did have me "living really good", consumerism is the problem!
Worship ArgumentI am not naive to think the US could have achieved its global economic dominance without the birth of consumerism but I also know that capitalism is a system set up by man and has little respect for the tenants of the Christian faith. We know that GOD is concerned with the humble obedience of man that money can not buy. So here in lies my problem. Am I showing humble obedience with my almost cult like allegiance to Apple and Google products. Can one question the direction of my worship when I am up late at night trying to order my phone by midnight ending with a sigh of praise when the order is processed. I thought to myself, even in my intentional focus of reading GOD's word morning and night, I may read about the latest gadget news much more often. I was "spiritual enough" to put "in Christ" but in that same vein I corepresneted myself as "a techie". We are called to cast all those things away
Colossians 3:1-2 If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth.
Financial argumentWith a new attitude on life I will let go of the hustle and bustle trying to get the next item. I can save money that I can use for others. I always wanted to be able to tell someone I can pray for them , and not only that financially bless a good cause following the will of GOD and not trying to reason with GOD as if he doesn't understand I think I can't afford to help. I can save more so I am not stressing over money and the future and instead focus on GOD more. Without financial stress it is less antagonism with my wife when something big comes. We often hear money can be a point of contention in many marriages. Also I delight in the thought of the security she will feel when she see that her husband is not out spending up all the money. A happier marriage brings glory to GOD.
Distraction argumentI also need less distraction in my life. Less stuff means its less stuff to maintain and keep up with. The less distraction in my life like tv internet video games, means I have more time for the important people in my life and my service to GOD who is most important! Just tv alone can open up more potential for memorable conversation with others and meditation with GOD. The less I'm doing something by myself on my own the more available I am to others for GOD to use me in their lives.
Declutter ArgumentMaybe I can find things easier. Its hard to loose something if you only have a few things. Its much easier to find something to wear when you don't have much to choose from. Cant be rushing looking for shoes if I only have 2 pair. I don't have to search for a tool if their not all over the place. Maybe the biggest thing, if there is not much paper lying around and I throw things away right away I don't have it around hiding the few things I need to keep. Less clutter also makes it easier to clean . I see maids clean hotels room quickly because its not much in them to clean. I was at the library that had 4 toys. I watched my kids play for a whole hour and when it was time to clean it was less than a minute. When we are at home they switch from game to game and begin looking for me after an hour to entertain them and I have a 15x20 room with 4 bins full of toys that take 20 minutes every night getting them to clean. I (This will be my greatest struggle to change). Thats 19 minutes more time they can have fostering innovation and even I can spend that time playing with them rather than fussing with them. With less clutter I don't have to say, " I know I put this in the garage somewhere" .. as I spend hours of distraction from what GOD Will for me to or keeping my mind fixated on the loss item with regret not thinking about the blessings in my life.
The buried lead ...So thats my non minimalist intro into a new path I plan to take in life and I am hoping I can document my experiences on this site. Unless of course it becomes too much of a distraction because my Christian minimalist journey includes less stuff and less distractions with more GOD and HIS WILL.
So yes it does make sense for a Christian to embrace minimalism......
Matthew 6:25-34New American Standard Bible (NASB)
The Cure for Anxiety
25 “For this reason I say to you, [a]do not be worried about your [b]life, as to what you will eat or what you will drink; nor for your body, as to what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? 26 Look at the birds of the [c]air, that they do not sow, nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not worth much more than they? 27 And who of you by being worried can add a single [d]hour to his [e]life? 28 And why are you worried about clothing? Observe how the lilies of the field grow; they do not toil nor do they spin, 29 yet I say to you that not even Solomon in all his glory clothed himself like one of these. 30 But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the furnace, will He not much more clotheyou? You of little faith! 31 Do not worry then, saying, ‘What will we eat?’ or ‘What will we drink?’ or ‘What will we wear for clothing?’ 32 For the Gentiles eagerly seek all these things; for your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things.33 But [f]seek first [g]His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be [h]added to you.
34 “So do not worry about tomorrow; for tomorrow will [i]care for itself. [j]Each day has enough trouble of its own.