So, Should We Practice Simple Living As Christians?
God has definitely shown me a lot in the last year about simple living, or minimalism. I guess you could say I have had my eyes opened to His Word in a whole new way. I have realized how as a Christian living in excess beyond what you need is living against what God commanded of us. Jesus in fact lived simply. He owned basically nothing beyond what he wore on His back, and carried with Him. A quote from a book I have been reading called Biblical Minimalism sums it up pretty well, ” It is one thing to make self seeking sacrifices or to follow some trendy fad or movement that happens to be popular, at the time. It is quite another to give up what is dear “for His name’s sake.” “
The American culture tells us something different, but the Bible instructs us as Christians, to not have so many possessions. So the answer to the question, “should we practice simple living as Christians?” is, YES! I believe that what the Bible is saying is that we should be simple living as Christians. I believe that living in excess is the exact opposite of what God calls us to do. Do not just take my word for it. Look at what God is showing us. Here are some examples from the Bible I have read.
Luke 12: 15
15 Then He said to them, “Watch out!, Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; life does not consist in abundance of possessions.”
This is definitely a conviction for me. Over and over again there are examples of God asking us as Christians to not own an abundance of possessions, and yet why did I think it was ok? Definitely still lots that I am working on in this area, but this was so important I had to share it. So many Christians do not realize this.
10″What should we do then?” the crowd asked.
11John answered, “Anyone who has two shirts should share with the own who has none, and anyone who has food should do the same.”
33 In the same way, those of you who do not give up everything you have cannot be my disciples.
Matthew 6: 19-21
19 Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal.
20 But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal.
21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
1 Timothy 6:6-10
6 But godliness with contentment is great gain.
7 For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it.
8 But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that.
9 Those who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction.
10 For the love of money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.
10 I rejoiced greatly in the Lord that at last you renewed your concern for me. Indeed, you were concerned, but you had no opportunity to show it.
11 I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content in any and every situation, whether well fed or Hungary, whether living in plenty or in want.
13 I can do all this through Him who gives me strength.
1 Timothy 6: 17-19
17 As for the rich in this present age, charge them not to be haughty, nor to sell their hopes on the uncertainty of riches, but on God, who richly provides us with everything to enjoy.
18 They are to do good, to be rich in good works, to be generous and ready to share,
19 thus storing up treasure for themselves as as good foundation for the future, so that they may take hold of that which is truly life.
1 John 3:17-18
17 But if anyone has the world’s good and sees his brother in need, yet closes his heart against him, how does God’s love abide in him?
18 Little children, let us not love in word or talk but in deed and in truth.
The interesting thing is when I started all of the decluttering I just wanted my house to not be stressful, we live in 1100 square feet with 6 people. But then things got out of the way( not being consumed with consuming anymore) and I started having more time to read books and the Bible. After having the aha moment of realizing how Jesus calls us to live simply and not in excess I was like, ” Wow! I need to be more diligent. What have I been doing? And why did I not realize this was in the Bible!”
The distractions are now gone with less things in the way. I can now focus on God, family, and the importance of just being present. I think the quiet really allowed me to hear what Jesus is trying to tell me. In the future I would love to be able to give more to those in need not just in money from buying less, but in time.
I hope that this post gives you something to think about, as it did for me. I began writing this blog for this very reason. To share what God is teaching me, what He is teaching my family. I have been extremely passionate about it, because I believe that most of us are being distracted. We are being distracted by all of the possessions that we have in abundance. The constant need to have more. The lack of contentment that we all seem to have. I hope that in the New Year this gives you some inspiration to buy less, own less,and spend more time reading the scriptures.
Here is the link to the book I mentioned Biblical Minimalism if you are interested in reading this book: