I’m getting a little sick of it. All of it. All of this stuff.
I read one time that starving people in other countries find it utterly unfathomable that Americans pay millions of dollars to lose weight. (By contrast, it is pretty astounding.) Similarly, I’ve paid particular attention recently to commercials promising to help overwhelmed people organize their clutter. So instead of turning all of this excess stuff into capital, or donating it to someone who needs it, or simply trashing the trash, how many Americans spend yet more money to help them cling to stuff they don’t need? I’m sure the millions of impoverished people of the world would also be dumbstruck to see some of our houses.
My discontentment started either with the misuse and abuse of Christmas, or with the reading of David Platt’s Radical. I can’t remember which was first, but it doesn’t matter. Either way, I’m here now, and I’m so saddened by the constant over-spending that surrounds me. Of course, I will not list the things that I find frivolous, because I’ll inevitably step on some toes that I love. And of course, you could easily point out things that I spend money on that you find frivolous, but that’s kind of my point. I’m just developing an awareness of my own excess.
So, I’m dreaming of minimalism. I’m reading minimalist blogs and mentally assessing my stuff and my spending and my gift-giving and gift-receiving, and I’m wondering about the why of every little thing. This is not a new concept, so I’m not really sure why I’m reading about how other people are living minimalist lives instead of simply reading the Bible, believing it, and obeying it. Two of the most straight-forward verses on this topic are:
Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves do not break in or steal; for where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. ~Jesus in Matthew 6:19-21 (emphasis added)
For we have brought nothing into the world, so we cannot take anything out of it either. If we have food and covering, with these we shall be content. But those who want to get rich fall into temptation and a snare and many foolish and harmful desires which plunge men into ruin and destruction. ~Paul in 1 Timothy 6:7-9 (emphasis added)
There are others, but I don’t need them. This is an issue of whether I believe that Jesus meant what He said, and whether I believe that I will be held accountable for obedience to what He said. The simple fact is that He did mean it, and that I will be held accountable, but am I living like I believe it?