The Ultimate Guide to Having Nothing, yet Possessing Everything
If you know my blog, you know that I believe simple living is a spiritual practice. In my personal experience, choosing to slow down, pare down, and live with intention has deepened my walk with God and removed the layers of distraction, shame, self-hatred, and comparison. I’m becoming who God created me to be with each simple decision.
I believe anyone can experience this, and I believe it’s what God meant for our lives. A life less (or not at all) focused on things and fully present to the freedom we’ve been given in Christ. The more present I become to God through choosing simple I see simplicity practiced and taught through the fathers of our faith.
I see in King David as he proclaims the ways God lead him to spacious places and delighted in him. (Psalm 18)
I see in the first century church how they shared and had everything common, sharing with each other as they had need. (Acts 2)
I see in the ministry of Jesus his warnings against worry of what we will eat and wear, and about choosing the lesser things over the best Thing in the Sermon on the Mount. (Matthew 6)
The work of simple living in our souls is to draw us nearer to our Creator and transform into who He purposed us to be with our individual gifting, talents, and callings. And, the transformation is a process of understanding the way things work in a new way – the way of the Kingdom – which is to say, the upside down, inside out economy of God.
This economy of simple living for Jesus is this:
“Our hearts ache, but we always have joy. We are poor, but we give spiritual riches to others. We own nothing, and yet we have everything.” 2 Cor. 6:10 (NLT)
A life separated from the dependence on stuff for self-worth, security, and status, while still having possessions and a home and the essentials of taking care of oneself is possessing everything! The economy of the Kingdom doesn’t make sense to the world, and that’s why we live in a culture that rejects the message of minimalism.
The ultimate guide to having nothing yet possessing everything is actually quite small. The “ultimate” is not in the size of this list, but in its magnitude to radically change the way you live your life and how you relate to the economy of God.
Are you ready to invest in this kind of economy?
The Ultimate Guide to Having Nothing, Yet Possessing Everything
“Our hearts ache, but we always have joy”.
Maybe you’ve noticed that the typical life of pursuing more things and titles and toys offers a quick, temporal enjoyment but not joy. It’s a quick fix, not a solution. True joy, is finding enough in what you have and who you are without having to add anything. Joy transcends circumstance (“for the joy set before him he endured the cross…” Heb. 12:2)
Joy is not happiness, it’s contentment in all circumstances because the hope set before you is greater than the situation within you.
Simple living provides an avenue to joy because removing the excess and the expectations placed on the outer life confirms our heart’s deepest desire – to know we will be okay without it.
“We are poor, but we give spiritual riches to others.”
You don’t have to be poor to live simply.
And you don’t have to be rich to give generously.
Giving is not a matter of means; it’s a matter of heart. Living in simplicity is a matter of the heart no matter your net worth. There are several articles on the privilege of minimalism and I understand the argument, that choosing minimalism is an act of privilege when most of the world’s population isn’t lucky enough to choose. But I believe that minimalism is deeper than that. Even those who don’t get to choose their lifestyle of simplicity can choose their heart of simplicity.
The heart of simplicity gives gifts of acceptance, love, gratitude, and presence. The things of which possessing doesn’t cost a thing.
“We own nothing, and yet we have everything.”
Simplicity isn’t about owning nothing and please understand that the apostle Paul, who authored this verse, is not saying we must live free of possessions. He is simply preaching the gospel of simplicity – abundant life is not found in what we own, but who we are and Who we live for.
Minimalism isn’t about your stuff, it’s about your soul.
Owning everything is actually achieved by not letting everything own you.
“Any half-awake materialist well knows – that which you hold holds you.” — Tom Robbins