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Living with less, yet caring much more

About a year ago, I stumbled upon a YouTube video about minimalism and watched it out of curiosity and boredom. In the video, the couple talked about the philosophy behind minimalism and why they chose to live such a simple lifestyle and I was intrigued. They talked about how living a minimalistic lifestyle helped them live intentionally and thoughtfully, which allowed them to focus on moments and people rather than possessions.

A minimalism movement has exploded in America, and many people have tried to conform it to a standard and set of rules, claiming that their way is the only way to achieve a truly minimalist lifestyle—however, that’s not true. In a general sense, minimalism is keeping the items you use on a regular basis and that bring you joy so the possessions you don’t need aren’t weighing you down in life.

As I began to dive into minimalism, I took to the Bible to see what God had to say about it, and it turns out, He has a lot to say. There are many verses in the Bible that talk about living simply and abundantly, but the one that stuck out to me the most is Romans 12:2 where Paul talked about how we are not of this world. As I meditated more and more on that verse, I started losing desires for the materialistic things of this world.

I looked around my room at all the stuff I had and all the stuff I didn’t need and decided it was time to start eliminating. I started small at first—one drawer, then two drawers and so on, until I had two huge trash bags full of stuff. Half of it was full of broken things, like necklaces I claimed I would fix some far-off day that didn’t exist, old papers with random scribbles, socks with holes and dried out pens. The other half were items in good enough shape to donate, like empty notebooks, jewelry and clothes I hadn’t worn in a long time.

As I began to simplify my life, something happened that I didn’t expect. I have struggled with anxiety for a long time, but it never prevented me from living my life. However, it was always in the background hindering me from completely living in the moment.

As I began to simplify the physical world around me, my mentality began to simplify. My thoughts became clearer, my relationships with people became more purposeful, and most importantly, my walk with God got so much stronger because He became my only want and need in life.

“It’s sobering to contemplate how much time, effort, sacrifice, compromise and attention we give to acquiring and increasing our supply of something that is totally insignificant in eternity.” –Anne Graham Lotz