Minimalism isn’t the Gospel
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.
100% spot on! Good on you for saying this! I think this is so helpful to hear. Minimalism has earthly value and benefit but it is NOT the gospel – it does not “save us” – there are many things that can distract us from the gospel and saving work of Jesus and minimalism is certainly one of those things – I’m so glad you have drawn attention to this.
“Minimalism has earthly value and benefit but it is NOT the gospel” Yes! ❤️
Oh Rachel. What a beautiful, heartfelt comment. I want to say something profound but I want to just keep it simple and put all of the focus on Jesus Christ for without Him I literally have no power. Anything I accomplish is bc of Him. I am so glad and to be a Christian and I’m glad u r too
Well said. Thank you for your boldness, honesty and comforting words! I have a long way to go in all respects but I’m beginning the journey! God bless you!
Thank You! You are an awesome witness to the truth.Emmy
I needed to see this. I have been struggling to be “perfect” and completely organized. Then in my mind I will be able to get out of bed do my routines ,spend time with the Lord and be on time for work. It struck a cord in me on what I was actually striving for in my mind and what God wants for me. Thankyou
Love this article!!!
This is great. Lots to think about here and I will be pondering on it more. We are so tempted to think minimalism – or something else – is the silver bullet to solve our problems. Like you I think that deep down I don’t want to stop to pray and read the bible, although somehow at the same time, I do deeply desire to do both. I’ve been using clutter (time and physical) as an excuse for too long. Thanks for a great post and your honesty.
Brave comments Rachel and so true. Thanks for your boldness. Minimalism is helping me gain some peace in my life but but true peace comes only in surrendering control to Jesus my Lord and Savior. As always I appreciate your blog and your honesty.
Thank you. Thank YOU. THANK YOU!! As a Christian who is slowly headed towards minimalist living I can see the benefits; and my husband has jumped on board as well. I, however, have struggled with the other side of things. All. The. THINGS. And true, while they do not and cannot ever satisfy completely- they are here. To be used and enjoyed. And since starting this, I’m realizing that too much is never enough. It’s simply too much. So once again, we’re lovingly moving back to simple. I appreciate and look forward to reading your next letters to us.
You are loved.
Yes, I’ll agree minimalism does help calm the “angry beast” of greed. Thanks for your comments and for Rachel Jones boldness to say what Christianity is really about 🙂
Agree. Some are thinking of minimalism as a cult. God must always come first and minimalism is a tool. It can even be a philosophy, a life style or a way of living but it is not a religion. it can help achive goals, or things more meanful if used correctly.
Very gold article.
Wow….just wow….Didn’t expect to read such a beautiful Gospel message this morning in this space. “Well done, good and faithful servant.” I know this will make an important impact.
THANK YOU! You were able to put into words precisely why I do not feel comfortable with many of the most popular “minimalists” on social media. On a podcast recently, a young woman wrote to the “experts” that she had gotten rid of all of her belongings and she felt more empty than before! I felt such sadness as they stumbled to explain the phenomenon that she was experiencing. No things on earth, or lack of things on earth can satisfy our hearts.
So much this!
Where our treasure is, there our heart is also.
The decluttering journey really helps us to think about what is treasure.
But no amount of decluttering will bring us closer to God if the decluttered life itself becomes our god.
If we keep our eyes on the real Prize then – through all our ups and downs – we will have something more valuable than anything else ever could be.
You’re doing a great job Rachel, thank you!
So lovely that you mentioned this. I see your work as marketplace ministry. Thank you for all the knowledge and useful tips you shared.
I can relate to much of what you are saying. I see minimalism as a tool and while I’m not a minimalist though it did help me surround myself with things of value and not just things. Spark Joy, Essentialism, The 80/20 principle and The Four Hour Work Week, led me towards yours and other minimalist sites. But I see minimalism like mindfulness and other practices as part of a lifestyle but being like Christ is the life.
I should say I do believe that we should strive to bring heaven on earth (thy kingdom come on earth as it is in heaven) through they way we live and not just wait til we go to meet him. In spite of all the ills in this world the whole earth is growning and waiting for the saints to manifest and live kingdom lives. I wasnt sure if thats what you were saying too in a different way.
Thank you again for all you do.
I think we’re on the same page Oyinda. We definitely need to live differently- as members of the other kingdom, living like that will look different on this kingdom.
Yup! I’ve loved your course & it has helped tremendously. But I still want what I want when I want it. Then i encounter the brokenness of this life (I so easily see in others yet struggle to see In myself) and have to acknowledge that it is only by the grace of God that I have been delivered (and continue to be delivered ) from my brokenness. But it was for a purpose and that is to glorify Him & not myself. Minimalism is about me and how I want to live. I encumbered. Free to do, be and go according to His calling.
Thank you for being open & honest
It’s always good to “remove the idols “
Thank you, Rachel. I appreciate your comments more than you can know. So many people have come to seemingly “worship minimalism,” and not seek to fill their life’s desires and problems in Christ. I’m happy that you have shared this.
Appreciate your honesty about what minimalism is and is not and what the Gospel is and is not.
Thank you for stepping out to write this. I have found it true that nothing of earth or man can satisfy the longing of my soul like Christ. No quantity or sparity of things will do it, but clearing away the unnecessary in my life helps me see how much I need His grace and mercy.
So very true! Much of what you’ve said resonates with my own experiences (and excuses) in my walk with Christ. I’ve been to many a minimalistic household that still had a lukewarm orientation to the Gospel – it starts interiorly, and only God can fulfill that hunger. However, I will say that Jesus has been with me as I removed physical belongings that also represented spiritual obstacles to knowing Him more closely…I have literally put some of my clutter (both physical and emotional) at the foot of the Cross, lol! Beautiful things come from the healing process of purging such things from your life, and you remind me that I should focus more on prayer. I’m still working on straightening out my physical and spiritual life, but thoroughly enjoy your inspiring posts!
Michelle, great point! I think many of us have or need to put our clutter, at the base of the cross! To create an open path, of releasing things (or problems, emotions, past trauma, etc) so we have a new path, new view, going forward. Growth in the relationship with God.
Well put and so true!! Thank you!
Good thoughts. I’m a want to be minimalist because I’m so overwhelmed by life but I’ve been looking at it as the cure instead of looking to my Creator.
Great article. I really needed this redirection. Thanks so much for sharing this!!! Lots to think about here.
Thank you for the strength, boldness and humility displayed in this blog. I’m working on “minimalism” because embracing order and decluttering puts me in a better place, but I wholeheartedly agree that true peace will only be through a personal relationship with Christ. Thanks again!
This is just truth. Speaks well about who you are and what you believe. I do not consider myself Christian. But I believe in God and Jesus. Thank you for sharing.
Thank you Shirley ❤️
I so agree. Minimalism is great but Jesus is the answer the world needs. Thank you for sharing this.
Hi Rachel : as always, I can’t thank you enough for the time and effort you put into sharing yourself and your experience with us I can’t say for sure why I’m here (on earth) – I’m a ponder-er, I think – but what I do know, for sure, is that I’m not here to collect items (which I was doing and still struggle with sometimes). I have found that I am at peace when I’m connected to others, doing service (however that looks), and seeking connection to the power that is higher than me (collective power, god, higher power … I’m still not sure what it is). What I’m trying to say is thank you for what you wrote and again: for sharing with us, every week, about how to make space in our lives for more
Thank you Sarah! ❤️
I have really enjoyed reading your blog over the years because it inspires me to keep on track with not valuing things over relationships. You’re one of the few minimalist bloggers that also speaks of faith in Jesus instead of harping on “be the change you want to see in the world”, eco-consciousness, and a semi-yoga-semi-fatalist-Buddhist view that nothing in this life matters. Keep it up! Besides you, Joshua Becker inspires me to continue exploring minimalism to bigger ends with how he connects it to ancient faith traditions like simplicity, fasting, and generosity. It has me thinking a lot differently about my estate plan and setting up a foundation sooner than death. I would love to hear more on your blog about how minimalism leads you to more generosity/giving that comes from faith in Jesus. Love God, love others.
I love this Rachel, and thank you so much for sharing. I follow several minimalist blogs, but yours has always been my favorite because of your humble Christian perspective. Thank you for your honesty in this post especially. It speaks to me where I’m at right now and reminds me that even though I’m dealing with a very rough season where it feels like minimalism has failed me by not providing the calm that it once did, Jesus has never failed me. Minimalism was never intended to be my savior and could never truly provide peace and hope like Jesus can. Thanks again!
Well said Lauren. ❤️
Thank you for being so bold. You are the one minimalist that I follow because you are a Christian.
Rachel- This was so meaningful and poignant for me to read. Never doubt all the gifts God has given you and your abilities to share them. You are a true blessing.
This was great! Thank you for sharing Christ in this way. He is the way, the truth and the life! Be blessed!
Amen! I think this whole concept is why I haven’t called myself a minimalist or have totally dived into every post I see about it.
Thank you for reminding us where we get our true sense of peace. Thanks for having the moral courage to care for us all so much in a world that often disdains Christianity. Bless you.
AMEN! Thank you, Rachel! Taking a stand for the Kingdom is increasingly UNpopular these days. I thank you for listening to Him. I am in the process of paring down and cleaning out, and I find it is more than just stuff on the outside it affects. It’s wonderful to see empty space! I share your belief; I don’t look at this change of lifestyle as any part of my “religion” or tied in any way to the fact of my soul’s condition or destination; but I DO believe it will give me more freedom, possibly to offer myself to serve, and it will give me a respect for my well-being and the world around me, and it will give me self – discipline and peace/calm. I hope it will help me remember that life is NOT about things.
Thank you again for this post, and thank you for Nourishing Minimalism. Be blessed!
I needed this today. I love Jesus and have followed him for 17 years. However, over the last several years homeschooling with our 3 children…the clutter has built and over time it has overtaken me. But worst of all, I have become obsessed with the idea of getting rid of it all. There is this subconscious thought of “ everything will be better when I get rid of the clutter”. And you are so right, irregardless of the clutter….I need to refocus my priorities on Christ, Not being clutter free. It is reprioritizing my life…my days to focus on Christ. Focusing on decluttering keeps my focus on me and my sins and my life and distracts me from Christ and His truth and his power and redemption. Thank you for reminding me of this truth that I have set aside for too long. It is prayer and His Word that will change me and my household …not a clean house. Appreciate you and your boldness to speak truth. Amen!!
Thank you Rachel for your transparency.Things that we accomplish and self focused achievements can be turned into idolatry. So can mimimalism. However, our God is a God of order, not confusion. We are told to be content, that it is great gain. You are an inspiration. When we learn to be content with what God has given us, and He has given us a great deal, then we are free to see the needs of others and joyfully share to meet their need. I love living with less, less clutter, less stuff, it is freeing! I love the simplicity of controlled spending and not surrendering to the spirit of materialism that is rampant in our society. Thank you again for your posts and may God richly bless you and your family.
Thank you for reminding us, if we put The Lord first in all areas of our lives, He’ll come along side us and help us with our minimalist lifestyle. He’s the one that gives us the peace we so need, on this journey to clean our lives out. Not thinking having it all clean leads us to Him. I’d never have peace then, my life has genuinely been too crazy. He desires our hearts to be His more than anything else. Once He has it, stuff (as in things) just doesn’t matter so much anymore. Keep up the encouraging blog. I really love it.
Am I correctly understanding that you want only comments that agree with you or else it is considered by you to be debate?
Not necessarily, I just don’t want huge arguments. I wrote the post to express my views, not to argue. I don’t have the emotional energy to debate, I’m just putting out there what was on my heart.
OK. A Scripture that helps me towards minimalism is Matthew 6:19, 20: “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal; but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal.” At this time our understandings of “heaven” (one can create one’s reality), man’s goodness (made in the image of God = good), purpose (to let God’s spirit flow, to be happy). and presence of God (God is in EACH of us as our “inner being”) are different. I shall concentrate on your fine tips for minimalism as I believe that ideas can be enjoyed while agreeing and also while not (the disagreeing ones usually bring more growth 🙂 .
I was curious about this also, Barbara.
Found the email I got that started “Hi janet I am not interested in debating” offputting.
I’m sorry. I didn’t mean it to be offputting. I knew that writing about my faith can open a can of worms and I didn’t want a barrage of comments telling me how wrong I am and why. I know that people will disagree and probably be offended by what I believe, I just don’t want to debate it.
So good and so true.
Thank you June, you’ve been a wonderful example of being transparent on your blog. ❤️
I have used clutter to protect myself from bullying and violence. I filled my garage with clutter, my shed is full. I packed everything into my home and garden to provide a shield from people who bully and harass and are violent towards me. I have come to realise that when those people go new ones come and they bully in a different way a more indirect and cunning way. I have come to realise this is the fate of being a woman in a large regional city in Australia, who lives alone. I read your post and I believe it true. I am slowly getting rid of my clutter and in the process, I have realised I am a damaged goods. I have forgotten how to love. Only God can save me and help me to learn to love again. Thank you
WTG Rachel! I agree completely and appreciate your courage for stating your views. Minimalism has helped me calm down tremendously and be able to have the abundant life in God I so needed as a christian. Keep up the good work.
The exact thing the Lord has been teaching me…..and you put it into such beautiful words! Thank you so very much for sharing your courageous and vulnerable spirit with us!
Very well said!
Thank you for sharing your faith and how you are continuing to grow, in such a public way! This is one aspect of minimalism that I’ve struggled with over the years, because true peace, fulfillment and purpose comes through faith in Christ by grace. For me, minimizing is about nurturing a heart of contentment, seeking God’s will for me and my family and putting him first. To do that I do need less stuff and activities – they distract me and become idols that my heart goes after. May the Lord bless you and keep you.
Rachel, this is truth. For me, minimalism quiets the noise so that I can hear God, see God, even just know that He is there when I might not have even realized it before. It takes away distractions. You are right – there’s only one gospel truth. And even minimalism can become an idol.
Thank you so much for all you do! I thank God that through minimalism, you have been offered as the vessel to bring joy to this fallen world. 🙂
Beautifully said. I am not a minimalist. I don’t follow your blog. But I am a Christian and this was some of the most amazing, heartfelt, Gospel sharing stuff I’ve heard in a long time. Thank you for sharing it.
I am not offended by talk of Christianity. I am a devout and socially conservative wife and mother. What offends me is the false witness here, the misunderstanding and misrepresentation of how faithful Christians ought to live.
“If He’s telling you to do something, then do it” – yes, He has. In His scriptures, and through his ministries which may disagree with each other but all try to teach His truth and what He wants us to do. This “go be by yourself and talk to Jesus and see what He tells you” – this is how people excuse terrible behavior, because they ‘know’ it’s what Jesus wants because of their feelings, not because they study His word or consult with people who’ve devoted a lifetime to studying His word.
Peace out, and best of luck in your question to learn what God wants of us. You’ve got several hundred pages of it in your house as we speak – no need to go off and talk to yourself.
Perhaps the person could bring God’s word with them when they go to be alone?
Also, I believe the Spirit does speak and sometimes I find it helpful and joyful to simply sit and listen for what He is speaking to my heart. Prayer is a two-sided conversation ❤️
Love, love, love this! Thank you so much for this post! I am no where near being a minimalist, but definitely working on simplifying our lives. It’s so easy to think “when I’m done this or that, then I will have time for Bible Study and prayer…” But, unfortunately, I’m just like you, the desire isn’t there. I want the relationship without the work and discipline. Thank you for being brave and sharing your heart!
I think minimalism can help with reducing distractions and stress that cloud our vision and relationships. Minimalism can become a “god” in and of itself or clear the clutter and distractions to make it easier find a closer relationship with God.
Minimalism CAN lead to an abundant life. But abundant life can mean so many things to so many different people. For me it’s the abundance of the fruits of the Spirit – love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness and self-control. I find I have a greater measure whenever I am doing better at minimalism, because it overflows to all areas of my life.
Thanks for being clear about where you personally stand and pointing the way to Jesus.
“The problem wasn’t my home, the problem was in me. I didn’t have the desire.”
This was an eye opener for me. I use my busy life as an excuse at times to not spend time with the Lord. I long for connection with Him, but do not give myself time to sit down and just open my Bible or pray. The flesh is so sinful and will use every excuse to not spend precious time with Jesus. The word of God is food for our soul, and I can tell when I’ve been without for too long.
Thank you for writing this. God bless!!
Thank you for sharing!! Love this. xx
“It’s seeing that I am not capable of anything good and seeing that He miraculously still does good things through me.” It is so, so sad that you don’t see your own selt-worth and there is a LOT to say about this interpretation of christianity, but since you don’t want us to disagree with you I guess I’ll just leave your blog and newsletter. Bye.
I believe you misunderstood Rachel. There’s a difference between disagreement and debate. It’s okay if you disagree with her, she just said she’s not interested in debate.
Thank you Faith, that’s exactly it. ❤️
Thank you for this! I find myself often thinking I need to first have my home in order before I can rest with Jesus. But only Jesus can bring the rest and strength and peace I need to do everything else…including minimizing and tidying. Thank you for so clearly sharing the gospel and reminding me that it is about Him, not a tidy home.
Amen and amen, Rachel!
Excellent perspective and encouragement.
Thank you for writing & sharing this. I asked Him for a sign & this is it. He spoke to me thru you. Now I have to go fix my makeup before I leave for work — the tears made a mess of it.
Wishing you a blessed day — today and always.
A beautiful reminder that minimalism is a means to and end and not an end unto itself. My family’s goal is a home centered in Christ, and I am grateful for your message reminding me that the only thing that will make that happen is fostering a relationship with Christ himself.
Well done for honestly pointing this out. It’s exactly how I see it. Minimalism is an amazing help to unblock those of us with cluttered homes, and it has helped me serve my family and church and community in our home and therefore helps me reflect Christ. But minimalism is not Christ. My brokenness needs Him. Thank you for this blog.
“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.”
Great article! I am Christian also and can totally relate. Any mention of the word God or Christian can send people into some weird combative mood. Having space to think, read, study and hear from God is a great benefit of minimalism for me. Everything was just blocked when I was crowded, over consuming and cluttered. It was terrible. I am still minimizing and have a long way to go but I can’t wait to get there again. Thanks for this very relative article!
Thank you Rachel! The brokenness and sinfulness of this world can bring us to despair, but we need to remember that Jesus is still in control. The Bible speaks of the times getting worse and worse before he returns in His glory. One of the things that originally drew me to your blog and course was that I could tell you were a Christian. We are like minded in what is truly important while on this earth.
I’m glad you shared this, Rachel. God bless!!
Your observation that minimalism is NOT the answer or the gospel but it DOES take away the excuses is spot on. Also I love what you say about the abundant life not being about comfort but about growing closer to Jesus. True – and confronting. I find it easier to focus on removing more stuff than to turn to Him – but minimising in itself will never satisfy or give peace in the long term. Just the same as more shiny stuff won’t satisfy… I am not sure though about the part ‘not on this earth’. I believe the bible tells there will be a renewal of all creation not destruction. This renewal will be through Christ though, no minimalism or veganism or whatever ism can truly save us. Thank you for sharing your heart!
❤️ Such an encouraging post for me with sooo much truth! Thank you.
Hi Rachel! I am Jewish, yet this still can speak to me. I do have one thing to add though to your comment:
“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.”
I believe that God ALSO put us here to make THIS world better than we found it. We cannot possibly make it perfect in our lifetime, but if each of us takes it upon ourselves to make it better however we can (thinking/speaking well of others, prayers, good deeds, study, taking care of our earth, etc) than we will have accomplished what we were put here to do, in this lifetime. Maybe then will future generations see peace . ✌️
Thank you for speaking your faith boldly in this setting. I think you have nailed it in terms of being realistic in what minimalism can accomplish and how it differs from Gospel. Some Christians embrace a simple life; some do not. Some minimalists are Christian; some are not. While the two things inform each other, they are not the same. You’ve done a good job of separating the two and making it clear that of the two, it is the Gospel that matters most in the end.
Just what I needed to be reminded of. I too was becoming a minimalist fir similar reasons. Thanks, awesome article!!
This is beautiful, thank you!
This was a thought provoking article for me, as I have been wrestling with a connection between my minimalism journey and my faith. I have noticed the positive effects on my spirit as I have begun letting go of possessions, I have begun letting go of my greed and gluttony (with possessions) and my faith in God has grown exponentially. He provides more than enough for me. Minimalism is not my faith though. My faith is in God.
Amen. Thank you for sharing your heart, Rachel. ❤️
Weird!!! This topic has been on my heart lately. I was excited to read your article today. I feel like I need more guidance on on how this may look in practice or struggles others face. Maybe I need to shadow different people to see how they have worked through clutter and made time to pray even when it was not their hearts desire. I have never had a mentor and very much learn by hands on or watching others.
Looking forward to your next article, thanks Rachel.
Thanks Meeghan! I had to just pray and ask Him to give me that desire and change my heart so I make Him a priority. If you ask Him because you want to know Him, He will be faithful. Though it hasn’t been instant, I’ve seen my desire change and I do make it a point to read and pray morning and evening. But it’s been such a slow process, I can’t even pinpoint when it happened.
And I think it’s hard because I want to just be told “do this.” but it looks different for everyone and I don’t want bible reading to just be so routine I check it off my list. ❤️
Thanks for your writing, love your clarity!
This is so true! Minimalism is a wonderful tool to help remove distractions in order to spend time with God, but minimalism is still in our control. In order to fully have a relationship with Christ we must understand to give up control and surrender to what God has for us. This is something I am learning daily. Thank you for sharing!
“…but minimalism is still in our control. In order to fully have a relationship with Christ we must understand to give up control and surrender to what God has for us.”
Amen, you couldnt have put it into better words! 💗
I love how you stated with a clear mind that the minimalist lifestyle is NOT the gospel. I think it is something that follows when you have faith in God and then in yourself. Strangely, since I’ve gotten closer in my relationship with Jesus I have found that I have more strength to take care of myself, my family, and my home. Even in my prayers and meditations, I have learned to remove all the “clutter” in my mind and just let the words come. This took years and years to even be aware of this. In the physical sense, I think Jesus wants me to enjoy my life and not be continually stressed over all the issues, junk/clutter that just piles up big as mountains. This brings me to the scripture about moving mountains. With faith, I can move that mountain. I can have peace.
Oh Rachel! Thank you for this truth! I love you more now than ever. I am not a minimalist, but I am on the path to a simpler life, thanks in part to you. I have been using your decluttering checklists for several years, reading your blog, paring down possessions, and sharing your guidance with others. Clearing space around me helps me have a better attitude and focus more on what truly matters. However, as a Christian, my abundant life is found in Christ, not in my home. In fact, I am decluttering partly so that I am freer to focus on serving Him and loving others. Minimalism is not my religion, but it can be a tool to help me better love serve God, my family, and others. Thank you for your faithful work in helping so many people simplify our lives and live intentionally. Thank you most of all for pointing us to Christ, our All and the source of true life.
Amen. Excellent article. The only thing I would add after “you don’t need a pastor” is that you DO need the Bible to find your way to Christ. I love your blog. I think you have done a great job sharing how minimalism has made your life more full and inspiring others to find their joy in living, not in things. I love that you say minimalism looks different for everyone and encourage readers to find what works in their house. And I really love all the ideas for non-cluttering gifts! Keep up the good work 🙂
Thank you for this post.
I am not aiming at minimalism, just less stuff – but I’ve commented before on how hard that is with a husband who keeps everything (and then there are the 4 boys…)
The key thing for me is to think in terms of stewardship. Jesus taught us to steward our possessions and to use them for his work, rather than to own stuff for its own sake. Your posts have really helped me to look at my belongings and evaluate them – and in doing so, re-evaluate my reasons for owning them. Mindful ownership leads to thanksgiving.
Minimalism is not the gospel – but please do not underestimate how much the Lord is using you through your writing.
This is a lovely post Rachel. I learned to be mindful that Christ is in me, around me, in everything I do and in everyone I meet. Being aware of this changed how I lived my day to day and life was much better.
Then a series of life events happened and I fell off the wagon. Yes, I asked and prayed for the abundance that I needed and wanted to be able to move forward.
However, the word Abundance (in general) literally means “a lot of”. I didn’t specify what I wanted and so I got an abundance of misfortune… death of my hubby in the middle of a renovation, lack of income, sickness to name a few. The clutter and disorganization crept back into my life.
Things began looking up when I changed the word abundance for Prosperity and Wellbeing. I am not in denial about the sad state of affaires in the world, but I try to focus on the good and positive.
Yes, I want to be the change I want to see… Be kind, generous, helpful, considerate without expecting the same, but hoping I planted a seed. I am eco conscious. I pray, meditate, and practice yoga when I can because I feel better when I do. When I feel better I am nicer to be around. I believe that the Divine is in all of us, but a lot of us choose not to express that, or don’t know how.
Thanks Rachel! Blessings to everyone.
Thank you for a beautifully written post! Although I find minimalizing my possessions helpful, it will never save me. Jesus has already saved me! I have wondered if the claims of minimalism lead people to put their hope in something temporary instead of eternal. I appreciate your honest and thorough explanation!
Great post. Jesus came to give us abundant life (John 10:10), peace, and all things that pertain to life and godliness. I’m glad you shared this post, and I’m glad you’ve made the the time and space for Jesus!
Rachel, Your boldness will certainly result in some spiritual warfare. Just want you to know I am praying for you tonight. I always knew there was something different about your approach to minimalism, and now I know exactly where you are coming from. I love your transparency. Keep shining your light; it illuminates Him! Your work has made a difference in my life. Thank you.
Thank you so much Karen.
Such a well written article, Rachel. The world needs a positive message and the world needs Jesus now. Lives are so chaotic and much of that is due to choices we make, everyday. People are so consumed with acquiring bigger houses, nicer cars, and more toys instead of focusing on doing things for others and turning to God to fill up emptiness they may feel. When you take God out of our lives and especially out our schools, the devil creeps in. While I’m not a Minimalist, I’m an organized Mom who struggles with a hubby who has hoarder-tendencies. It’s extremely difficult and takes a toll on our relationship. I try to focus on the blessings I’ve been given and hope he will come around. Thank you for your inspirational articles.
Thank you Rachel. Well said, keep doing what you are doing it makes a difference to many. Blessings as you continue your journey and share with others.
Very good! Minimalism can be turned into a religion of a sort, if we are not careful. The only thing I’d add is in the last paragraph. Read a Bible. God reveals Himself to us in His Word, and if we don’t know who He is, we’ll create a god of our own imagination.
Thanks for putting minimalism in perspective. And thanks for your boldness in sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ.
This is fire for the soul! Blessed words and the passio. Is apparent. Girl, you are a teacher and as such your words are divine and blessed from the Most High. Definitely inspired. Keep up the good fight. Your message comes from the source of all that is good and light. Thank you for your candidness and for sharing so honestly always!!!
This post really impacts me.
Just so you know…I don’t normally read blogs, I do half-heartedly follow you and your site, and this is the only such site that I have not “unsubscribed” from emails. Every once in awhile I look you up, read a little for some house cleaning inspo. Some things about your lifestyle don’t apply to mine, and some things you’ve gotten rid of I can’t imagine ever letting go of (several extra sets of China I’ve inherited, for an example).
All that to say, I do pay attention to what you write, and I do look for your site when I’m feeling overwhelmed.
Then I read your gospel post. The first time I read it, I was sickened by the weight of the truth that hit me and I stopped reading partway through and got to work at some self evaluation. I had truly believed (not because of anything you ever said) that if I just uncluttered my life then I could do the things I really want to do – have a daily routine that included exercise and reading the Bible. Those two things are fixtures at the top of every year’s Resolutions (for decades, literally). Your post made me admit to myself, and even harder to do, admit to God that the reason I don’t have time to read the Bible is because I don’t want to. That’s really hard to say, but I realized that in the quagmire of my cluttered life, I’ve had time to plan birthday parties, go on vacations, train my puppy, go on weekly date nights with my husband, binge watch many many seasons of TV shows on Netflix, and read NYT bestsellers…. because those are things that I “wanted” to do. Right?
So I am left asking myself why I haven’t made the time for regular reading of God’s word, and it’s not because I have a messy house or too much stuff.
Gotta go! I think I have something more important to do with my free time 🙂
Keep up the good work you to. Surely you’re touching many other’s lives too.
Thank you for sharing Noelle. It’s so hard to be honest with ourselves. ❤️
THANK YOU Rachel for sharing this; for sharing about your beliefs, journey and for sharing about Christ.
Thank you for candidly speaking the truth in love!
Thank you for being here to encourage us in minimalism and in life!
This is a perfectly timed post for me. Last year, I tried to really embrace minimalism because I was overwhelmed with lots of stuff, including family changes and job losses and homeschooling with a toddler underfoot. But the more I decluttered, the more upset I got at all the stuff that was still around. I was so hyper focused on the minimalist journey, that I forgot to touch base with God on what he wanted our home to look like.
Sure, I can pick up an item and ask if it sparks joy, but it did so much more when I started to ask God how he saw our stuff and our home.
I know that he is still encouraging me to remove the things from my life that are a distraction- and that included the constant striving for the “right way to declutter”.
Minimalism is not the gospel and it is not where my joy comes from. Thank you for the reminder.
Thank you for sharing Michelle. ❤️
Amen, Rachel. I have been combing through many of your minimalism strategies. I have been praying for your salvation because I loved what you were saying but I thought you were missing the only important one! And now….. I am so blessed to call you sister! You are a blessing, you are doing this for such a time as this in this minimalism community. The gospel is needed in the minimalism discussion and you nailed it. The gospel is the point and everything should trickle down from it! Thank you, thank you, thank you!
Oh thank you Lauren! ❤️
Great article. You said it very well.
So thankful for the courage you have shown in writing this article – you are spot-on! Jesus came that we might have forgiveness, an abundant life, and eternal wholeness and happiness IN and WITH God (the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit) because of and through the Savior Jesus.
Salvation is grace alone, by faith alone, and through Christ alone. Minimalist efforts can help remove distractions from these truths but never replace them.
So glad I found your blog, Rachel!
You wrote: “What is the Gospel? “Good News.” Hope. Hope for what? Hope for a better life because this one is downright hard.”
True, “Gospel” means good news, but it doesn’t mean hope for a better life. It is not an elective life style. Rather, the gospel or good news IS that Jesus’ blood washes away the sin of all those that believe in him shall have eternal life. (John 3:16) The good news is that all who believe this are saved. Please do not detract from the importance of Jesus’ blood and the free gift he has provided for us through his supreme sacrifice. Nothing else really matters.
How encouraging it must be for you to read all of these comments…clearly you have hit a nerve, Rachel! For me, the concept of ‘Minimalism” is a reminder to not accumulate riches here on earth…not having visual and mental clutter frees me to have the physical and mental energy to focus on what is really important. It is clearly a means to an end, not a badge of honor or a “”religion” with rules. If I am living my life to impress others with my accumulated possessions, then I don’t have my priorites straight, and I am not at peace. I think God deals with us individually, and if you aren’t comfortable or happy with your life as it is, then for some “Minimalism” can be a way to a more authentic life, no matter what your faith system is…
Well said and I completely agree!
This is a helpful and timely reminder for me, thank you.