The problem with minimalism? Well, the problem with minimalism is that, like hoarding, it focuses on stuff. Just from a different perspective! Not that stuff is necessarily bad. I mean, who doesn’t like a warm, soft bed? Plus God truly delights in blessing us. He takes no special pleasure in seeing people suffer.
But we’ve found that stuff becomes a problem when we focus on it too much. Because then instead of owning stuff, it starts owning us. And instead of counting our blessings, we always long for more. Our happiness and contentment (or lack of them) start coming from what we have, or don’t have.
But Christ’s life can teach us balance.
I believe that even a non-Christian, by taking an objective look at Christ’s life, will find balance. And the secret to living a balanced, meaningful life.
He didn’t own much. Yet he lived the most abundant life ever, and wanted that for his followers.
Ask, he taught, because God the Father wants to bless you. He wants you to have a good life. An abundant life with all you need. And overflowing with God’s blessings.
For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened. Or which one of you, if his son asks him for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a serpent? If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him, (Matthew 7:8-11).
He possessed little, but did not teach against possession — only against hoarding.
He taught that while God has good gifts for us, they are not really important. Food, clothing, and all we need for life, they’re great. But they don’t last. They wear out and get consumed (or even stolen). They have no lasting value. So don’t hoard them. Look elsewhere for true value.
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, (Matthew 6:19-20).
He never hoarded, yet cherished the things he was given.
Christ, I believe, was the world’s first Greenie! He used things carefully, even gathering leftover fish and bread after meals. He saw them as gifts from his Father’s hands. Gifts to treasure, savor, and care for.
And when they had eaten their fill, he told his disciples, ‘Gather up the leftover fragments, that nothing may be lost,’ (John 6:12).
And instead of hoarding, he gave.
He gave, and gave some more. He kept on giving, till there was nothing left to give (here on earth). Yet he’s still giving, and will keep on giving. And that’s what he teaches us. “Give,” he says. “Give and don’t hoard.”
Give, and it will be given to you. Good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be put into your lap. For with the measure you use it will be measured back to you, (Luke 6:38).
The problem with minimalism? There isn’t one, really, as long as we don’t focus too much on stuff. The real problem is hoarding. We’re supposed to be channels of God’s blessings, not reservoirs! In giving, we receive. So we can give again.
And that’s the secret to true abundant living.
Christ had little, but he lived abundantly. He gave abundantly. Blessed abundantly. Cared abundantly. Forgave abundantly. Loved abundantly. And by his life and teaching showed us that true abundant living is sharing — not hoarding!
So what can you take out of your reservoir to share today?