Four Traits of a Minimalist Christian

Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and He will give you everything you need.” Matthew 6:33 NLT

Isn’t the work area in the photo above just the ideal place for getting things done? No, believe me, that is not MY desk! Here is the current status of my workplace:

Yeah, this is where I clear my head, seek God, and write. Hm,m,m, I think I need to make some changes.

Working in clutter is a lot like trying to serve God with all the clutter we accumulate in our lives each day. I was in a Bible study last night and I felt God convicting me of becoming a minimalist Christian. And I, like you are doing right now, asked myself what that looked like. Minimalism is a current trend for interior decorating, getting rid of clutter in the home, and cleaning out the cobwebs that accumulate in the corners. So let’s take a stab at becoming a minimalist Christian using the four characteristics of minimalism I’ve listed below.

  1. Keeping things simple: when I first came to recognize Jesus as my Savior, I went full – speed ahead in filling my life with “stuff” that I thought would make me a better Christian. I went to Bible studies and theological seminary at the same time. I joined the choir, worked on the Sunday School bus ministry, and played on the women’s church softball team. Now, don’t get me wrong, I learned from each of these, but not quite as much as I could have. I discovered that the more I did, the more confused I became about what God wanted me to do. And I believe that God has addressed this in His Word when He talks about how to recognize and overcome confusion in our lives.
    • For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all churches of the saints.” 1 Corinthians 14:33 Satan would like nothing more than to keep us busy and confused. When I feel like I’m doing too much and getting nothing out of it, I remember that God is NOT the One causing me to be there.
    • “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding.” Proverbs 3:5 I love to learn. I am seriously thinking of going for my doctorate just because I hunger to open a text book again. That is not wise. So I pray about it. And God is faithful to show me that what I need to be focusing on at this phase of my life is to be an example to the younger women of how to live life as a minimalist Christian. Focusing on what matters to God.
    • “But if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all generously and without reproach, and it will be given to him.” James 1:5 And taking it one step further, I must recognize that the clutter in my spiritual life is not God’s wisdom, but my own desires. And I must ask God to give me wisdom and He will.
  2. Stripped to the core function: what exactly is the core function of a Christian? The core function of a Christian is to be reconciled to God. In the garden of Eden, we lost our relationship with God. We were separated from walking with Him and I don’t think we realized what an impact this had on mankind. But God did. So He gave laws to Moses to help us realize what we lost; and we didn’t. We gave sacrifices, we followed spiritual leaders as long as they didn’t interrupt too much of our comfort. But God had prepared for this, too. He sent Jesus, God’s only Son, to be a living example of what God expected from us. Belief in Jesus’ virgin birth, crucifixion, and resurrection are all that we need to restore our relationship with God. And He gave us a new law to augment the old law; a way to ensure that we are stripped to the core function of reconciling with God: “And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.” Mark 12:30 God focused. That is what is going to minimize the clutter by only allowing into our lives what God puts there.
  3. Prioritizing the essential: A minimal Christian life requires attention to details. I consider it essential to my growth as a Christian to read my Bible every day, to be in Bible study with other Christians, and to serve where the Holy Spirit leads me to serve. There are so many called, dedicated, Christian writers out there and I would love to read every book and do their Bible studies. But I know when Satan is using this desire for knowledge to confuse me and get me off track from where God truly wants and needs me to be. I have to prioritize and learn how to say “no” to what needs to be a “no.” That doesn’t mean that I won’t be led to do these in the future, but for the present, my priority should be what God has called me to do right now.
  4. Finally, I want to slip in a description of minimalism that I found on a decorating web site. Simplicity, clean lines, and a monochromatic palette with color used as an accent:
    • When you see a Christian, you should know that person is a Christian: speech reflecting God and His Word beyond speech criticizing or agreeing with the world.
    • More interested in the condition of our hearts than what we own.
    • Giving colorful praise as God leads and not for others to see us.
    • Living life simple, as Jesus did.

I want to be a minimalist Christian. I want my central focus to be the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. I want to live a life reflecting Jesus and speaking words glorifying to God. And I want the colors of my life to be from my praise and thanksgiving to God.

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