I am on a journey. It started as a desire to have more time and fewer “things.” I read some books, signed up for a blog, leafed through some magazines, and began viewing my home with a more critical eye asking, “Does this bring me joy?” Then I began to share my newfound hobby with friends and relatives. Some were intrigued, others not so much, and my husband was just plain concerned. (I had told him there were some “non-joy” items in his closet.) Overall, this desire for simplicity has been beneficial as I am asking more deliberate questions about the stuff that surrounds me and the items that I consider adding to our home. It’s good to evaluate ourselves and our things every so often. It’s also good to do a regular assessment of our spiritual “things.”
Joshua Becker, the founder of the blog Becoming Minimalist, writes: “Minimalism is the intentional promotion of the things we most value and the removal of anything that distracts us from it. It requires a conscious decision because it is a counter-cultural lifestyle that stands against the culture of over-consumption that surrounds us.”
That statement made me wonder, what about minimalism in my spiritual life? Am I intentionally promoting the things I value the most? Am I removing anything that distracts me from what I most value? Do I over-consume the world’s culture that I live in?
I recently read a story about a young woman who had become a Christian and given up the worldly culture she lived in for a simpler life focused on Christ. But after a while, she began to forget what she valued the most. Slowly she started to consume again the little things from her former life. These little “things” were distracting her time and attention from what she most valued though she didn’t perceive it at first. After attending a thrilling evening event, she was awakened to the realization that these distractions had come between her and her love for Christ. She had not been promoting the Thing/Person she most valued in her life and the result was slipping away from who and what she wanted to be — a Christ-centered woman fully surrendered to Him.
This story reminds me of the parable the Sower in Matthew 13. The farmer was throwing seeds hoping for a great harvest. The third place the seeds (God’s Word) fell was the thorny soil. This soil represents people who hear God’s Word and accept it, but get distracted by the busyness of life. The distractions choke out the Word and the people prove to be unfruitful. I encourage you to reread this parable. At various times I’ve found one of the four scenarios resonating with me and recognized more fully changes that I needed to make to be fully open and surrendered to Christ.
Call to Action
If Jesus is the most valued thing in our life — how are we promoting Him through our time, money, and property (things we own)? We should take some tips from the minimalist movement and do some questioning of ourselves. Have you removed the distractions? Does your life reflect what you most value?