I’m just now noticing and getting comfortable with just how often my blog comes up in my conversations. I’m okay with it. Or at least learning to be. I recently had a conversation with someone I met. We soon delved into my lifestyle of becoming a minimalist and a plant-based eater. Like many people, she was interested in my perspective as a Christian minimalist. It made me realize that I have never really shared my experience as a Christian minimalist. I had never shared my opinion on what I think it means to be a Christian minimalist. So I thought I’d do that today because my minimalism and my faith as a Christian go hand in hand.
If you look through the minimalism community- or just take a moment to observe those who have adopted a minimalist lifestyle, You’d notice that an overwhelming amount of people are either irreligious or simply influenced by Buddhism. Buddhism encourages the lack of attachment to things– which is essentially what minimalism is about. Christianity, on the other hand, goes a step further, calling us to seek God and be attached to the things of God rather than earthly possessions. When I decided to choose minimalism and simplify my life, I did so to free myself from the burden of consumerism. As I got deeper into it and sought God, I realized just how much minimalism mirrored my faith.
“Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, 20 but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. 21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”-Matthew 6: 19-21.
Being a Christian minimalist means striving to live every day like Christ. Jesus Christ on earth was and IS the perfect example of true simplicity. Jesus walked, rode horses and boats, dined with the poor and made friends with ordinary people. He was a carpenter who didn’t do work that would earn Him more respect and status in the city. He was simple and lived like so.
To be a Christian minimalist is to truly desire God’s purpose for our lives. God promised to give us life abundantly. We are instructed to ask and it shall be given. However, God’s purpose for us was not to give us material wealth that hinders us from seeking him. Overconsumption of material possessions keeps us comfortable in a place where we are insulated from the suffering of those around us even in the church. When we let go of things, we allow ourselves more time to serve people and focus on things that matter to God.
It means Sacrificing now for a better time with Christ later. I have a better understanding of Mathew 19:24:
“it’s easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God”
There are many interpretations for that verse. One of the interpretations for me is the dangers of being blinded by my possessions. It’s dangerous to be physically rich yet spiritually poor. I do believe that most rich people are often more concerned about their wealth- and how to make more of it- and less about the things of God. You don’t need to look too far to notice this even in our society.
It means Obeying God’s commands. Arguably, the word “minimalism” is not mentioned in the bible but Jesus gave commands that could inspire simplicity today. On multiple occasions, Jesus commanded the 12 disciples to take nothing with them (Luke 9:3, Matthew 6:19-21). I think the goal is to shift our focus from the materialistic things of this world but instead focus on God. In a world that’s constantly telling us what to buy and why we need the latest things, Jesus calls us to focus on Him and his satisfying love.
It means loving my neighbor with what I have rather than keeping it all to myself. You’re able to tell when you’ve had enough and bless others with your resources. “Don’t take any money with you, nor a traveler’s bag, nor an extra pair of sandals.”– luke 10:4. We don’t need all the “extras” we have today. Society made us think they are necessary or that they are a sign of being well to do. They’re not. What you should have and keep is what you need and what is essential.
Being a Christian minimalist means living with eternity in mind. When I think of minimalism, I think of 1 Timothy 6:7-8.
“After all, we brought nothing with us when we came into the world, and we can’t take anything with us when we leave it. So if we have enough food and clothing, let us be content.”
It’s a reminder that no matter how many things we collect here on earth, we will not take them with us when we die or when Jesus comes.
It means true contentment in God and fully trusting him to provide. Often times, we put our trust in possessions- believe it or not. We buy things and keep things we don’t need because we assume we will need them later. Rather than give things to our neighbors and other believers who need it now, we hoard them for later. Minimalism as a Christian helps me practice trusting God for tomorrow. If I don’t need it now, someone else needs it now. I trust that when I need it tomorrow, God will provide.
It means gratitude for little things & simple moments. When you spend less time accumulating things, you will have more time to see the beauty in the little things that God has blessed you with. I recently shared a post on everything I’m thankful for. It truly brought me joy realizing that none of it had to do with material possessions.
With all of these said, do I think every Christian needs to be minimalist? No. But I do think that we should focus on simplifying life. To simplify life is to search our hearts such that we are not making possessions and the pursuit of it an idol.
I hope this post gives you a reason to embrace minimalism or at least to simplify life. If it does, share your thoughts below.
Side note: All photos used in this post belong to the lovely Samantha whom I truly admire and adore!