Note: This is a guest post written by Cassandra Roberts, mother of two children and creator of the Needed and Known podcast and blog.
You may be well on your way on the Christian minimalism journey. You’ve probably even read my favorite posts about comfort buying and making changes now. You might have even read the Christian Minimalism book!
But how do you change your friend’s and family’s minds? How can you help them see the light that you’ve seen so clearly? How can you truly help them understand that the clutter and stuff (both physical and mental/emotional/spiritual) is weighing on them at a deep and spiritual level?
You have some options. You could hold them prisoner and make them pledge to stop valuing stuff so much– but that’s much too extreme. You could invite them to coffee and bait and switch them, turning the coffee into a campaign for minimalism and Jesus– but that never ends well.
The best way to show that living as a Christian minimalist is life-changing? The absolute guaranteed way to have a lasting impact on your circle without going to jail for false imprisonment?
Set an example.
Live Like a Minimalist
Don’t talk about how free you feel—show them.
Becca (The Christian Minimalist) does a great job of this with her joyful smile and ease of saying “yes” to phone calls and FaceTimes. Sure, she’s busy sometimes, but she’s never turned down a hangout because she had to wash copious amounts of dishes or organize or clean her house. She’s simply not weighed down by stuff. She’s thoughtful and intentional with each purchase.
Being a Good Friend and Example
Becca’s example has inspired me. We recently rented a home in Dallas with my husband and 2 young sons. When we moved here a few years ago, there were a couple weeks where I only had the glasses and plates we needed. The only toiletries out were the ones I use every day. But slowly, I unpacked all the other stuff.
The freedom and rest I felt at not having stuff to organize or clean was chased away with each box I unpacked, and the rest of the stuff crept back in. Not new stuff. Stuff I already had.
This unpacking experience has made me innately aware of my stuff. I’ve realized how crowded my brain is when there is a pile of clothing on my bedroom chair waiting to be put away. It becomes physically oppressive.
Remember your leaders, those who spoke the word of God to you; consider the outcome of their way of life, and imitate their faith. Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.Hebrews 13:7-8
When a friend suddenly realizes the additional emotional weight their stuff carries, a good friend will be available and open with support and without criticism. When we have a good friend showing us the simple way of Christ, will be inspired to follow Christ more closely and live more minimally.
How is God calling you to set an example and be a good friend for someone who needs to simplify?