Christian Faith and Minimalism

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My faith has been a journey, and my minimalistic life has been a journey as well. Neither faith or minimalism are things you just change and arrive at and be done, they are both a process, something one continually works at.

I wrote this a couple years ago, after I had gotten rid of probably 1/2 our possessions and wanted to get rid of more.

This shares more of my thought process on how I came to the place of wanting a minimalist life:

Over the last few weeks I’m been doing alot of introspection. I’ve been looking around our home and all our stuff. Think of when you walk into a hotel room and all you have is a bed, lamp, table and chair… I want that. I have been surrounded by stuff my whole life. And clutter sucks the life out of me!

I happened upon some sermons by David Platt on The Gospel and Materialism part 1 and part 2. And I looked around at everything we have and it struck me, how we have so much stuff that we spend all our time taking care of it and getting more of it and we think nothing of other  people in our neighborhood, city, state, country or world.

Why do I keep the furniture set downstairs? Well, it was my grandma’s, and she was special to me… Do I use it? Um, no… If I get rid of it will I forget her? Well, no… What other things remind me of my grandma? Oh, a painting in my living room, a bench under the window, some jewelry that I wear on special occasions. Ok, so why do I keep a set of furniture that takes up 4 sq. ft. of the basement and it just sits there? What if I sold it to someone who would enjoy it? What if I took that money and donated it to Amazima ministries so 4 little children could go to school and eat this year?

What if I sold everything in my basement, that has just sat there for the last 5 years and I was able to do more? What if I made enough money to build a community garden to help the less fortunate and teach them how to grow their own food?

Christian Faith and MInimalism, how the 2 tie together

What if I got rid of everything that distracts me and changed my neighborhood into a community where everyone knows everyone and takes care of the disabled or elderly that can’t take care of their house and yard? (Instead of driving by and being annoyed with the overgrowth?)

What if I developed friendships here and was able to share the hope of the gospel and everything that God has done for me?

What if what I was doing inspired a few people to do the same thing? What if it spread and we had 100 people getting rid of their stuff, helping people with the money and realizing that people are important? What if more than 100 did it? What if it turned kids away from gangs because their neighbor showed them love? Or stopped someone from committing suicide? Or turned the drug dealer to Christ? Or made it so a child across the world lived? Or if a group of people adopted a whole city in poor country?

Is that furniture set in the basement still that important to me? Is it worth the life of that little person on the other side of the world? What about that antique cookie jar that I’m always being so careful around? What about my collection of bean pots that I never use and have to dust? What about the jewelry that is sitting in a box that I never wear? And do I really need to dump $30,000. into a kitchen to make my life easier? Really?

What kind of impact would that make in the slums of Africa, if I donated $20,000 of it, instead of beautifying my house?

So that’s it. I’ve had enough of this stuff. I’ve devoted too much time and emotion to it already. I don’t need to hang on to things just because a relative had it or gave it to me or… or… or…! I’m sure that now that they have seen what eternity is like, they would wish they could go back, sell their own stuff and serve others.
I guess that is what it comes down to. When we come to the end and we stand before our Creator will He commend us for taking such good care of our house and our collectibles? For working so hard to get us that huge plasma screen TV and blu ray collection? Or perfectly refinished hardwood floors?

Or will He say

‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.’ Matthew 25: 34-26 

For more on minimalism, click here.

About the author, Rachel

Hi there! I’m the Joyful Space Specialist. it’s my desire help others create a joyful space of their own and enjoy their time spent at home.

34 Comments

  1. Rozy Lass on 09/24/2012 at 2:58 PM

    Beautiful! Thank you for putting into words the feelings of my heart. The journey is long, but the rewards when I stand before my creator will be worth the sacrifices I make along the way.

  2. Tanya on 10/03/2012 at 7:46 PM

    Amen, amen, amen.. Mimics my heart completely. Bless you!

  3. Anonymous on 11/15/2012 at 11:27 PM

    I used your wisdom when I inherited my mother’s belongings this summer when she passed away. I was able to joyfully donate nearly all of her things to Goodwill and sell a few things for basically ‘give away’ prices, making several people happy. When seeing it through eternity’s eyes it makes it a whole lot easier to let go. And like you stated, it doesn’t mean I won’t remember my mom. She’s in my heart, not in the boxes of stuff.

  4. MandyL18 on 11/20/2012 at 5:28 AM

    Thank you for taking the time to post all of this. I am really enjoying every word. I really feel that I ran upon this for a reason. I have been looking to do a litte bit of everything from your posts. Keep it up! Very inspiring.

  5. Rachel on 11/20/2012 at 5:40 AM

    Thank you Mandy- may God bless your work!!

  6. Alisa DiLorenzo on 04/04/2013 at 4:17 PM

    This is the first time that I have seen my stuff in light of my faith. I’ve never thought about what it was keeping me from doing in the world. Thank you for your perspective.

  7. Mothering From Scratch on 06/14/2013 at 10:50 PM

    {Kathy} Thank you for this message. It strikes a chord in my heart. During summer, I find I am really sick of taking care of my stuff….and need to take care of my children and myself.

  8. Dayna Baldwin on 07/25/2013 at 11:49 PM

    WOW! LOVE, love, love this. Thank you. I agree 100%. So powerful. Yes, yes, yes!!

  9. lachicaorganica on 10/20/2013 at 9:00 PM

    Nice and very true article. Reminds me of one I wrote a while back on the same topic.
    http://wp.me/pS0Z7-h4

  10. gilkersongazette on 10/27/2013 at 2:00 AM

    Amen!

  11. Angela England @ Untrained Housewife on 12/19/2013 at 9:25 PM

    Love this reminder so much! Thank you for sharing it.

  12. Julia on 08/16/2014 at 11:21 AM

    Thank you SO much for this blog! I just came across it on Facebook, and it made me so happy! Lately, I’ve been convicted about all my stuff that really serves no purpose, and it’s refreshing to hear that I’m not alone! As a college student, it’s a bit easier to simplify, but there’s still SO much stuff! I really appreciate your posts, and will refer back to them when I have a family of my own for sure! Thank you! God bless you sis!

    • Rachel on 08/17/2014 at 12:15 PM

      Thank you Julia!

  13. Steph on 09/05/2014 at 8:16 PM

    Thank-You. Truly insightful! I am a recovering shop-a-holic and it is hard not t be consumed with stuff! You are inspiring and I am striving to be more like you a “minimalistic Mama”

  14. Gail on 01/31/2015 at 10:39 PM

    David Platt series-blown me away. So much to ponder( and then act on) that i will have to re-read. Thanks for sharing that link.

  15. kimberly on 03/15/2015 at 12:35 AM

    i absolutely LOVE this post. I am right there with you! My heart (and my husband’s heart) is torn over how much excessive consumerism we have in America! How we invest in more and more comforts and fun for ourselves while forgetting we are here to share Jesus to a world of lost people! Not that it is wrong to have fun – but WHAT ABOUT THE LOST AND DYING AND POOR!? This breaks my heart. I too have heard both sermons by david platt and since you posted I am going to go listen again while I do more decluttering! :D. My lightbulb moment was in January…when I realized, while listening to a clip from joshua becker, that my stuff gets in the way of enjoying life with my children. I can’t organize clutter. And my life has only gotten better from there.

    I LOVE following you on FB…I get your notifications for every post so I don’t miss a thing! Thank you for your encouragement! 😀

    • Rachel on 03/15/2015 at 3:46 PM

      Oh thank you Kimberly!

  16. Victoria / Justice Pirate on 11/06/2015 at 12:13 PM

    This is completely true and beautifully stated. I am not sentimental at all and grew up in a family that is very sentimental (my husband’s family is too). I have never liked clutter and things as it is and my husband didn’t get how I wanted to change overnight with getting rid of things, but after a few years, God tugged at his heart and now he is on this journey with me. We have made a lot of changes in the past few months in general and people don’t understand it, especially Christians. It doesn’t make sense to me because everywhere that I look in the New Testament, I see nothing about keeping things for ourselves, but sharing it with others and helping people and having what is a need (which God will provide as it is). It is so sad how our society is all about gaining what you can for yourself. We have forgotten to be thankful and to reach out to those around us! Anyway, I really liked this. My husband found your site and shared it with me! He actually welled up with tears in reading this. Thank you for obeying God and changing your life for His sake. I hope that we can continue on this path with you.

    • Rachel on 11/07/2015 at 12:36 AM

      Victoria, thank you for the encouragement! I was just at Bible study this week and a friend (who runs a type of transitional house for men coming out of prison) was telling us about a conversation he had, discussing retirement. The man he was speaking to (one who was seriously stressing about having retirement funds) was blown away at the freedom that he saw in my friend; completing trusting God to provide, he just knows he’s doing what he needs to do right now.
      I struggle with it daily, many times moment by moment, thinking “ok God, here I am again, giving this over to you.” I’m learning (oh so slowly, ha) that, that moment by moment with Him, is what we’re supposed to be doing.

  17. Peggy Hodgkins on 01/29/2016 at 4:17 AM

    Thank you. I am so happy I fell into your blog. I am in need of inspiration and support as I face this change. Finding an attitude change in reading your suggestions and the thoughts of others is exciting. This issue has caused me great distress for many years.

  18. Sheryl at Providence Acres on 02/26/2016 at 4:11 PM

    Fabulous post! Amen! We are now minimalist, devoting our time and finances to Christ’s work rather than accumulating more stuff. We just cleaned out almost everything we own and it’s such a great feeling!

  19. Tami on 02/29/2016 at 9:04 AM

    As a foster/adoptive family that added 3 babies to our home, we became super cluttered quickly. My husband went on a mission trip to Haiti 5 years ago, and it really hit him how blessed, spoiled and cluttered we have it. But it took us until now to get busy emptying our home and life of things we don’t need. I don’t want to make life harder, or chores taking up extra time. My idea of living simply is that we have our needs met, but if a kitchen gadget will speed up a process, I don’t want to feel guilty about keeping it. I want more….time with family, open spaces, freedom, giving, doing, experiences, learning, down-time, playing, etc. I love your kitchen! I also like cooking, from scratch, as I can. Our 12 year old is homeschooled and cooks a lot, also. Thank you so much for sharing. Looking forward to continuing this journey. I have longed for a simpler life for a very long time. I feel glimmpses of it already.

  20. Tere on 05/03/2016 at 3:16 PM

    Rachel, I agree wholeheartedly with what you say in this post. It’s as if you wrote down what is in my heart. I am a great admirer of David Platt — his passion, his love for Christ and his concern for the lost. For Christians, minimalism takes on an eternal dimension as well as a people-oriented, compassionate lifestyle. Thank you for writing so compellingly and beautifully about your passion.

  21. marian on 08/07/2016 at 5:49 PM

    thank you for this post and all the others you have written. I just started my minimalism journey and believe that God has put it in my heart to think and get rid, let go, forgive and set new priorities. I was really happy when I stumbled over your blog and enjoy getting more tips, ideas and encouragement. May the Lord continue to bless and use you to open other people’s eyes and free them from stuff, busyness, stressed minds feeling of confusion just like it helped me.
    thank you again and greetings from Germany.

    • Rachel on 08/08/2016 at 12:45 AM

      Thank you Marian!

      • gretchen on 02/04/2017 at 12:32 PM

        this is a beautiful article that needs to be repost in social media.to remind people OF what reallt IS importance in LIFE,to pursue what god has called us to do.thats why jesus said do not love the world or anythig inthe world.the lust of th eyes,lust of the flesh and the pride of life-thats what consumerism is…

  22. Anne ve Bebek on 03/16/2017 at 3:35 AM

    Today this ‘mini-me’ trend is very popular around the net. We tried to pick best mini-me photos to show how cute this trend is. Check it out and comment. Also don’t forget to share any ‘mini-me’ photo of yours!

  23. Minnie on 05/03/2017 at 1:14 PM

    Thank you for this article, it touched me very deeply !!! I agree with everything, even if I’m 100% non-religious. This is crazy how much time and money we spend on material stuff (buying it, taking care of it), instead of taking care of each other and the less fortunates (close neighbours and people from across the globe…) . Our belongings should take care of our basic needs, make us clean, well fed and dressed human beings, and WE should not take care of them! I’m grateful to live in a country where I have everything I need, and honestly the useless things I have at home makes me feel really bad. I still have a lot of work to do to get rid of everything I don’t need but every step help me feel closer to the world around me, and more “me”. I have more time to take care of my loved ones or meaningfull projects, and more money to spend on things that really matter for me (helping people and the planet being one of them). I waste less food too, now.
    Thank you for your blog, it helps me a lot 🙂
    kisses from France

    • Rachel on 05/03/2017 at 1:45 PM

      Thank you so much Minnie!

  24. Gina on 06/19/2017 at 2:44 PM

    This is the type of article I have been searching for, that addresses minimalism and christianity together. Jesus said to sell all we have and give it to the poor. I think we should give away or recycle what we can, but if something is holding us back in our faith or is stealing our emotional happiness or time, then I say throw it away. I was walking through my basement (aka toy, office, and craft room) looking at all the unfiled papers, unfinished sewing projects, etc and I heaved a big sigh. Then I had the thought “throw it all away.” I really believe it was the Holy Spirit speaking to me because I was not thinking to throw it away. I was thinking I need to organize it all. I hadn’t even considered throwing it all away. It was such a refreshing thought and I felt lighter at the thought of getting rid if it all. I also realized that God could easily replace it all probably with better stuff than I was hanging onto. I am not finished clearing the area yet but have started getting rid of it.

    And I love this quote. This is totally the way I feel: “we have so much stuff that we spend all our time taking care of it and getting more of it and we think nothing of other people in our neighborhood, “city, state, country or world.

    Thank you!

  25. Sandra Wade on 07/06/2017 at 5:45 PM

    Wow. That was amazing. I struggle with this. Daily. I have always been fascinated with owning less, cleaning less, but to have it CLEARLY stated with emphasis on the true reason for my life, Christ. Wow. Thank you.

  26. Zoe Mitchell on 09/01/2017 at 8:50 AM

    Hi Rachel,
    The connections between minimalism and Christianity have been praying on my mind for quite sometime.
    It isn’t something which is talked about in church so much and I want to gather some different perspectives from people about their journey and their faith.
    I’m not sure how to collate the information just yet, possibly a short book or blog post, but I want people to start talking more about it and actually putting it into practice too!

    If you think you would have time to answer a few questions for me (email is fine), please get in contact and I would love to hear you views!

    Blessings,
    Zoe

  27. Kiet on 10/04/2017 at 6:10 AM

    Agreed with your post here. Living on minimal is a faith base act.

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