Recently, in my quiet time I came across a passage. I had read it many times before, but this time was different. The words washed over me as if I were really reading them for the first time. That’s the great thing about the Bible. It is truly the living word of God, always providing applicable truth.
Matthew 6:19-21 says: “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 or rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there you heart will be also. (ESV)
As a citizen of one of the wealthiest countries in the world, this passage really convicts me. Christians should take note that while owning things is not inherently bad, creating idols or allowing them to consume your life is. What if instead of filling our homes with things we don’t need, we used our time, money, resources, and gifts to make a difference in other people’s lives? How much more would we be able to influence the world for Jesus if we lived a life of purpose, a life set apart?
There are numerous examples throughout the new testament of Jesus encouraging christian minimalism. Matthew 19:16-30 speaks of a young rich man asking Jesus how to gain eternal life. Jesus responds by telling the man that he must sell all of his possessions and give to the poor. the young man goes away sorrowful, because he had great wealth. Let me be clear. This passage is not so much about the amount of things the rich man owned, but it is about him loving his possessions so much that he rejects Jesus.
Salvation is only possible by the abounding grace of Jesus. If owning more, coveting other people’s things, or discontentment are stumbling blocks, isn’t it only appropriate to rid them from your life in order to better serve Jesus? He made the ultimate sacrifice by taking on the world’s sins so that we can be saved through grace. I intend to honor that (and Him) by following the Bible in all aspects of my life.
In my personal decluttering journey, I have noticed that the more items I get rid of, the more freedom I have to spend time and energy where it will have the most impact. For me, owning less has allowed more time to do what really matters. I am able to cultivate relationships with family and friends, spend meaningful time with my daughter and husband, and most importantly, to live the life that Jesus has called me to live. A simplified life that is less focused on me and more focused on Him.