When I was growing up, I hated putting things back where they belonged. It was a task that I didn’t enjoy, especially when it involved getting rid of something that I wasn’t ready to part with. So I did what a lot of kids do– I shoved stuff into closet corners and under the bed and in the back of drawers.
The problem was that, as I got older, my shoving habit started to affect the rest of my life. It became harder and harder to find the things I actually used. It got SO bad that when I went to college, every time I came home to visit during breaks my parents made me go through everything that I had accumulated. But it wasn’t enough– my parents STILL had to finish the process even after I graduated (I’m ashamed to say). I procrastinated the minimizing process for so long that it actually took years and other people to do it.
You may be reading this blog because, like me, you have a stuff-accumulation issue (and maybe even a stuff-shoving issue!). That accumulation of stuff tends to get in the way of us living our lives– and that’s not what God wants for us.
If you do have this issue, you are encouraged to start the minimizing process sooner rather than later. Don’t do what I did– don’t wait until it’s a multi-year and multi-people process.
I’m going to be honest, though: minimizing is not glamorous. It’s tough.
It’s tough physically, of course, but it’s also tough mentally and emotionally and spiritually. When we deal with the mountain of stuff we accumulated, we have to deal with WHY we accumulated the stuff in the first place. That means confronting the ugly parts of us that we don’t like to see.
But here’s the thing– it’s all worth it.
Paul writes in his letter to the Galatians chapter 6, verse 9:
Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.
In order to plant a section of land, in order to bring in a harvest, the land must first be cleared. That is what minimizing is– it is clearing the land for God.
By clearing our lives of clutter, we are freeing up space to reap a harvest. We are clearing the space to bear fruit in the name of Jesus (John 15:16). We cannot bear fruit when we are overwhelmed by the stuff around us.
Being a Christian minimalist means intentionally listening to God, and looking at what needs to be cleared in our lives so that we can better love and serve God and others. And then, with God’s help, we clear all of that away so we can follow Jesus with our whole being– heart, soul, mind, and strength (Luke 10:27).
And when we clear it away, we are able to see more clearly what the Holy Spirit is doing in our lives. Imagine how you’ll have more time and energy and money to live as God is calling you to live, once the overflowing stuff is gone!
Is God calling you to the minimizing process? If so, NOW is the time to start minimizing!