Minimalist. What is the first thought that comes to mind when you hear that word?
Personally, it floods my mind with images of giving away everything I own. Living in a house with bare floors, hardly any furniture, and a closet with two sets of clothes.
I don’t know about you, but that doesn’t sound like a very appealing lifestyle to me. Yet, as I entered this holiday season, I felt a strong leading to take a hard look at my desire to live a life of gratitude and generosity. I was a little shocked and dismayed at what I saw.
Too Many Possession Are A Distraction And A Burden
Although I don’t live an extravagant lifestyle by any means, I have a lot of stuff. And as I walked through my house taking a mental inventory I realized my stuff is holding me back from living the life I want to live. So I decided to check this minimalist thing out to see what it’s really is all about. What I found is not at all what I expected.
I was reminded that everything we own requires something from us. Maintaining possessions takes time, money, energy, and focus. That means every increased possession adds more anxiety to our lives. Possessions don’t make us happy they just distract us from the things that do.
We Live In A Society Built On Consumption
Let’s face it our economy thrives on needs and wants that are artificially manufactured. That is why we are bombarded with thousands of messages every day. The messages tell us we could be happier than we are and the remedy is to buy their particular product.
But the truth is their message is crafted for their gain, not ours. And if we reject it we stand to gain joy and freedom.
My Life Is Too Valuable To Waste Chasing Material Possessions
That is the message Jesus was trying to get across to the rich young ruler when He told him to sell everything he owned and follow Him. He wasn’t saying that owning things was wrong. He was trying to help the young man understand that his focus was holding him back. It was keeping him from having the relationship with Jesus he was meant to have.
We each get to determine what the focus of our life will be. Our focus can be to pursue money, fame or things. But what if we step back for a minute and realize that this one life we have been given is about so much more.
We are created to pursue love and hope. A life of intimate relationship with God. A life that will have impact and significance, and benefit others. I want to be who He created me to be, and I can’t do that if I’m chasing possessions.
There Is More Than One Way To Do Minimalism
I also discovered that being minimalist will look different for each person because we are each created uniquely. Your passions and purpose will determine the type of minimalism you practice.
For example, as a minimalist writer, I will own different things than a minimalist carpenter. The trick is to find the style that works best for you. It needs to be freeing not cumbersome.
My style and your style will not come overnight. It is going to take time. It will develop as our lives change. Ultimately we will begin to remove the unneeded stuff from our lives freeing us to enjoy the things we value and pursue our passion and purpose.
Minimalism Is A Pathway, Not A Goal
It’s important not to become obsessed with owning the fewest number of things. Always remember that it is a means to an end. The goal is to remove physical distractions that keep us from being who we are created to be.
“Minimalism is the intentional promotion of the things we most value and the removal of everything that distracts us from it.” – Joshua Becker
Remember that our possessions deplete our time, our energy, and our money. But living with less offers us more time to spend on meaningful activities. More clarity in pursuing our relationship with God. More finances for our needs and being generous with others. And more flexibility to embrace our story and be who He created us to be.
Enter My Giveaway And Win A Free Book
I have decided to pursue this thing called minimalism and see where it takes me. I am learning how at a blog by Joshua Becker called Becoming Minimalist. Check it out for some great tips and inspiration.
Joshua has also written an excellent book on the subject called “The More Of Less.” If you are only going to read one book on this topic, this is the one to read.
I have one copy of this book to giveaway. Do the following three things for your opportunity to win:
- Subscribe to my blog (If you are reading on a desktop or laptop see the subscription form to the right of this post. If you are reading on a mobile device you will find the subscription form directly below this post.)
- Go to Facebook and like my author page.
- Leave a comment below.
You must do all three to be eligible to win the book but don’t worry if you are already a subscriber and/or like my Facebook page just mention that when you leave your comment. I will select the winner at random on December 15, 2016.
Owning fewer possessions creates the perfect roadmap for living the life we are created to live. I hope you will join me as I pursue this minimalist experiment.
What is your biggest fear about becoming minimalist?