Please note: If any part of Christianity is offensive to you, feel free to skip this article. I also know that people will disagree with what I say, but please be respectful of each other in the comments. ❤️
I’ve been thinking about this for some time and finally have gotten fed up to the point I need to say something.
I am a Christian (which I have a hard time saying, because most Americans claim to be Christians, but that only means they live a somewhat moral life and believe God exists).
When I was drawn to minimalism I wanted control, my life was chaotic, I was overwhelmed, I knew I was supposed to read the Bible and pray but I never felt I had the time.
So I went to minimalism for help. And it did help. I found that getting rid of all the clutter and maintaining a clean house did give me a sense of control and my emotions weren’t quite as crazy.
Minimalism didn’t make me a better Christian.
But it did take away all my excuses that I had been using of “No, I don’t have time to spend in prayer because…”
With minimalism, the “because” was gone. And I had to face the fact that deep inside me, I didn’t want to take time for prayer.
The problem wasn’t my home, the problem was in me. I didn’t have the desire.
Getting rid of clutter didn’t give me the desire to spend time with God.
I see so many Christian minimalists saying that Christ wants us to live minimally. After all, He said, “sell all that you own and give to the poor.”
But my friends, Christ didn’t come to earth to teach us to be minimalists.
I also see Christian minimalists saying we need to embrace minimalism so we can live abundant lives.
I don’t know what you think of when you hear abundance in that way, but I think “things that I want.” It doesn’t necessarily mean money and house, but I will say I think of only things I personally desire- good relationships, fun days, a life I enjoy.
But that’s not what Jesus teaches.
Yes, the Bible says if we ask we will receive. But it also warns us not to ask “amiss.” What’s “amiss?”
For me, that looks like comfort – a car that meets my needs (with heat, air, and power windows), a good relationship with my spouse (really, I need him to meet my needs), kids that obey and are kind to each other (because then people will see how well I parent).
We can have life more abundantly. But it’s not our ideal life: it’s the life that draws us to Him.
It’s knowing Him more abundantly. It’s seeing Him work abundantly. It’s feeling emotions more abundantly because you are sensitive to Him.
Life more abundant means that I hurt more when I see the brokenness of this world. It means I rejoice more when I see how God cares for me in little intimate ways that no one else can see. It’s seeing that I am not capable of anything good and seeing that He miraculously still does good things through me.
It is abundant. But it’s not comfortable. It’s not easy and it certainly doesn’t look like anything I wanted it to look like.
Minimalism isn’t the Gospel
What is the Gospel? “Good News.” Hope. Hope for what? Hope for a better life because this one is downright hard.
Most of the minimalist gurus teach that if you embrace minimalism your life will get better and you will find purpose and contentment. And if any of my teachings have lead you to believe that, please forgive me. I was wrong and I have learned otherwise.
But they are missing the key of the gospel. The gospel is that this world is broken, sin came into the world and ruined the perfectness that God created. The effects of sin are seen in every area of life: work is hard, things go wrong, everything breaks down, we struggle with health issues, mental issues, we get addicted to substances, we act out selfishly.
The hope of the gospel is that Christ made a way for us to be perfect again. To not hurt people- even with our thoughts. To have a body that works right- to not struggle with depression or anxiety.
And I can’t wait for the day when I am made right when there is no more breaking down and wearing out. No more struggle with my selfish desires.
But that won’t be on this earth. It can’t be. This earth is broken beyond repair. Christ didn’t come to fix it here. He came to make a way so we could be with Him in another Kingdom.
Minimalism doesn’t fix the brokenness of this world.
Christ does… but not in this world. He made a way so that one day those who know Him will be made perfect again. He will have to destroy this earth and He will make a new one, where He won’t allow sin, He will protect us from anything that would cause pain. Everything will be perfect and right. There will be no thought that enters any mind that would hurt another person in any way.
Minimalism has been wonderful for me. It has helped me in a tremendous way and I will gladly teach people about it.
But if you really want all your longings to be filled, and you’ve found that after you’ve embraced minimalism and still feel something is lacking – Christ is the only thing that can satisfy.
I am happy to talk to you about Him. But you don’t need me. You don’t need a pastor or a spiritual guru. Go to Christ. And if you don’t know how, tell Him that. He can reveal Himself to you. Get alone. Pour your heart out to Him as if He were standing in front of you. And if you feel He’s telling you to do something, then do it.