This is a guest post by Sharron Torres. If you would like to contribute an article for Attempts at Honest, please review our Guest Post Guidelines and contact us.
In today’s consumerism-driven society, we surround ourselves with things: material goods are unnecessary for survival, things that do not serve us in any truly beneficial manner. In 2011, it was reported that Americans spend 1.2 trillion annually on nonessential items. This is an astonishing figure and one that emphasizes how wasteful human nature can be. Besides hindering our financial well-being, this material excess undoubtedly hinders our relationship with Christ. As possessions pile up around us, our minds become clouded. The path to spirituality is diluted. We lose sight of our true purpose as children of God. But by stripping away these belongings, we can begin to focus on that which is truly important to living a spiritually focused life.
Simplicity as an Act of Worship
God does not measure you by what you own. No amount of shopping or material accumulation will earn your place in Heaven. Research shows that the amount spent on Black Friday, a single weekend, is more than half f what is donated to churches in America every year. The apparent need to fill your life with things is not an innate urge installed by your creator, but a compulsion implanted by advertising companies and media conglomerates. These forces are simply distractions from your greater purpose. This lesson is apparent in Matthew 19:21:
Jesus answered, “If you want to be perfect, go, sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.”
Unburden your physical existence and give to the less fortunate that which you do not require. When we minimize our earthly possessions and turn our attention to God, these material goods are converted into spiritual wealth. Cleanse the clutter in your life. Let this be a new spiritual practice to live by. If the Lord is what we truly seek, then the Lord is all we truly need.
Minimalism is not Poverty
A life rooted in minimalism and simplicity need not be confused with a life of impoverishment. Minimalism is not an encouragement to renounce life as you know it and live out your days as a pauper. It is a call to embrace that which you need to survive comfortably and to release yourself from the rest. This is not only a renouncement of superfluous possessions but also behaviors, addictions, and even relationships. This is not always an easy path to walk; it may be helpful to seek the assistance of friends, family, or luxury rehab centers to start your new journey. The minimalistic lifestyle may seem to affront at first, but when we surrender the comforts found in external things, we can truly begin to value our internal strengths and merits properly. When materialism is forfeited and simplicity is embraced, the path to God is illuminated.