Christian Minimalism

Free Space

When I was a kid, we would often have family game nights. Bingo was a particular favorite. When playing Bingo, one person calls out the letters and numbers as they popped out of the Bingo cage spinner, and the rest would scramble to put their chips on the respective spaces and be the first to make a line of playing chips on their board and yell “BINGO!”

Even when I was younger, I thought it was fascinating that all the Bingo game boards had a “Free Space” in the middle. It was labeled “Free,” and players could automatically put a chip there, and use that space to help them win the game. That Free Space in the middle was important because it connected multiple ways players could win in a traditional game of Bingo.

The first thing I did when playing Bingo was put a chip on that central Free Space. I was eager to put my first chip down and fill that Free Space– I was one chip closer to winning already!

As I got older, I played Bingo less. But I kept filling all the free spaces in my life, as fast as I could.

Filling Space

Consumer society tells us that emptiness is bad. We are expected to fill any physical, mental, emotional, or spiritual space, as fast as we can. Have an unused corner in your house? Fill it with knickknacks. Have a free hour in your schedule? Fill it with another time commitment. Have some space in your thoughts at work? Fill it with thoughts about how to work more efficiently.

Filling space quickly means that we rush to buy, consume, and produce more, resulting in more profits for companies who benefit from perpetuating the hurry to fill space.

Always filling space only makes our lives feel over-stuffed. With too much stuff, time obligations, and thoughts, we become overwhelmed. And when we are overwhelmed, we are unable to cut through all of that clutter and focus on what’s most important.

I used to be that over-stuffed person. I filled every space in my life, hoping to gain personal value and meaning from buying and consuming constantly, all the while being over-worked, insanely busy, and constantly productive.

But that consumer-driven lifestyle was not sustainable. Exhausted and sick, surrounded by too much, I finally realized that I needed a change. I needed to live differently. I needed more space.

Making Space

Contrary to what consumer culture tells us, space is not the enemy. When we make space in our lives, it’s much easier to notice what is superfluous, and then we are able to remove anything that is keeping us from focusing on what matters most.

Consumer society doesn’t want us to make space because then we would live more intentionally and buy, consumer, and produce less. Too bad. The over-stuffed consumer lifestyle serves profits, not our well-being. We need space to be physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually healthy.

In fact, space in our lives makes room for listening to God and seeing God’s movement. When we rush to fill space in our lives, we can miss out on seeing all that God is doing. But when we have space to think, to feel, to move, to pray, to breathe– we can be ourselves, with our loved ones, and with God. We can just be, not worrying about if we are doing enough, being enough, or are enough. Consumer culture tells us we are never enough. But God tells us we are always enough.

Do you not know that you are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in you?

1 Corinthians 3:16

It is not worth our physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual health to live an over-stuffed and overwhelmed consumer culture lifestyle. We can take better care of ourselves by freeing space in our lives, even when we are told that we shouldn’t.

Making space is not lazy– if you hear that message (from yourself or other’s!) that is consumer society’s values– in which consuming, buying, and producing is way more important than your well-being. Instead, God invites us to make space. When we make free space in our lives, we are taking care of our God-given temple so that we are better able to be who God is calling us to be.

How is God inviting you to make more physical, mental, emotional, and/or spiritual free space in your life?

Did you like this post? Check out the Christian Minimalism book!


Becca Ehrlich, AKA The Christian Minimalist, is striving to be a Christian minimalist in a consumer society. She currently lives in Upstate New York with her husband Will and their son Theo. You can read more about her story and how her blog came to exist by clicking the website link above.


  1. Sally Parker

    May 1, 2023 - 11:37 am

    Great post! Everyone is always saying they never have time for it all! Who is the one filling those time spaces? We are in control of our own lives…fill it with worthwhile stuff, and STOP when it’s full enough!

  2. Ron

    May 1, 2023 - 11:57 am

    Great message. I need to make space in my schedule for quiet time, and not go to sleep with the TV on, exposing myself to the gods of this world.

  3. Amber

    May 2, 2023 - 3:46 pm

    I really loved this one! I need to get back on track with things with my home and health. We had a tragic death in the family and it really was easy to lapse…to go into the holding things, eating the timing of this is perfect. 🤍🌸🤍🌸🤍🌸🤍

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