Why can’t I find more writings on being a Christian and minimalism? By minimalism I mean minimalist living. Enough is enough already! I just returned from an outlet mall that was crawling with mad people from whom I was constantly fighting to maintain my own personal space. All these pilgrimages to the malls to pay homage to the god of materialism. This turns my stomach while at the very same time I too and guilty.
If God’s grace really is enough then why do we salivate and lust after the newest thing? We are wrapped around the fingers of retailers who have us thinking we actually “saved money.” “Saving money” should be defined as something like I put money into my savings account and let it sit there, NOT that I just bought something that used to cost more money yesterday than it does today. If I spent money I didn’t save anything!
My action response to this cultist behavior is to STOP. In the year 2020 I will buy no clothing or shoes for myself. I have enough. Today I’m saying “no” and I pray this “no” will last for an entire year. God give me the strength because I live in a culture that defines people by what they look like or by what they have. I cannot any longer. I STOP right here, right now!
Are we turning God nauseous with all our holiday shopping when God would much prefer we step away from things and connect to God and one another? Our resources can be used in much better ways instead of adorning ourselves and getting that instant addictive excited high we have when we try on that perfect-for-today outfit. We know tomorrow we won’t think it’s perfect at all and soon enough we’ll be looking for a place to take our unwanted things.
I’ve received numerous calls from church members this week who have decluttered and have perfectly good items needing a new home. They want me to find a family in need to house their things they no longer want but I find this breeds jealousy among the people I minister to who live in poverty so I just don’t do this. My lesson is learned. Things can blur the lines of ministry in such a way that we cannot tell who comes for God and who comes for things. Our giving is equal. Giving one family a nice bedroom set my middle class church members are tired of and then giving another family just a mattress breeds bad feelings, so I just refer people in need to our full thrift store ministries who are able to even give vouchers for families in need. I could be a full time thrift store and not a pastor if I’m not careful and not focused.
Father forgive us for we prefer the god of things in the here and now as opposed to what You offer us for all eternity. May we declare You are enough in 2020 and stop worshiping ourselves by wanting, coveting and envying because of a material thing. Enough is enough! Your grace is enough. You are enough and then so much more! You are more than enough! Things will never satisfy like You satisfy. May we replace shopping with ministry. May we use our money in a way that keeps our souls focused on You. Father forgive us and give us guidance and direction.
Yes, we tend to scream the loudest about what we struggle with the most. I’m screaming at myself even louder than I am screaming at the church, the bride of Christ. He loves us so, but our attention is obviously elsewhere.