7 Powerful Truths that Engage Your Soul in Minimalism
The Spiritual Act of Simplifying
A few months ago I unpacked all of my kids’ baby stuff, sorted it with teary eyes and gratitude, set aside a few precious and unique items, and repacked the rest to donate. It was one of the hardest decisions I’ve made since adopting a life of simplicity, simply because I’d made the decision more than five years ago that the baby stuff would stay. Forever. Period.
That was before we committed to living simply when sentimentality proved the existence of the meaningful. We fought for five years through infertility and a failed adoption, so when God gave us our first miracle pregnancy I wasn’t letting go of any part of that season.
It made sense, for a while. When you experience the healing touch of Jesus and life is created where they said it wouldn’t you hold tight to the tangible because it feels like your heart won’t be able to contain the intangible. Then, when the second of our beautiful miracle babies arrived two years later and all the stuff doubled, it started to feel heavy – like maybe what my heart holds in its ever expanding hands is enough after all.
The Deeper Meaning of Minimalism
Minimalism questions everything, even the stuff we’ve sworn not to let it get to. I tried to ignore the stacks of bins in the garage but after we’d decluttered the rest of our house and found out what minimalism is really about, I had to question the purpose of keeping it all. After all, my girls were toddlers by this point, different now but still the same flesh and bone miracles – what stuff can compare to their laughter, kisses, and wonder?
I’d suspected early on in the clearing out the physical, mental, and emotional clutter that there was something much deeper, spiritual even, happening through minimalism. It wasn’t just a freedom to do what I loved or have more money in the bank, it was reaching farther within me. It was grasping for more intention, more awareness, and more soul.
It was as if with each item I let go of a piece of myself came back to me. With every opportunity I took to choose less I gained a long forgotten dream. Every time I fought the lies in my head with truth about who I am and what my stuff was, I became more fully alive. Minimalism wasn’t only questioning, it was answering more self-doubts and frustrations in my life than I expected.
A Spiritual Awakening
Simplicity became spiritual when I realized that my soul had been buried under validation-seeking behaviors, such as, impulse shopping, comparison-making, self-reproach and self-doubt, and perfectionism. Simplicity set my soul free.
I started thinking in a new category at that point: minimalism is a spiritual act of worship.
Let me be clear about one thing, minimalism cannot replace the restoration, healing, and salvation of Jesus Christ. He is the Savior of the world, the redeemer of our souls, and He alone is our hope for eternity. Minimalism is simply a tool with which we can come into union with Jesus, worship Him through our acts of doing without or choosing less, and it’s a means to connect with the unique gifts and purpose He has created within us.
Minimalism is a spiritual act of worship when we make Him the reason and we seek freedom, identity and purpose in His name. I believe that minimalism isn’t about our stuff, it’s about our soul. If you’re wondering what simplicity has to do with your spiritual acts of worship , here are a few ideas to consider:
7 Powerful Truths that Engage Your Soul in Minimalism
- Where your treasure is, so is your heart.
When I was holding on to the baby stuff as validation of God’s faithfulness, a part of my heart was occupied – unavailable to be filled up with the blessings of everyday miracles with my kids.
My treasure was in the stuff, not in the God who gave me the kids who no longer needed the stuff. I let it go, and my heart could return to its first love.
- What profit is there to gain the whole world and forfeit your soul?
A life spent chasing the status and the stuff will always leave the soul behind, because our soul wasn’t created for that. It was created to give, not to get.
- Do not be conformed to this world.
The world is set against the fully-alive soul. It’s enticing us to conform to its standards, expectations, and definition of beauty and success. Minimalism allows us to define our own lives, live in our true identity even if it’s not what the world wants. We are no longer controlled by social media or fashion trends, and we hang on to the truth that we are created in the image of I AM.
- It is more blessed to give than receive.
Minimalism creates room and resources for more generosity.
- We brought nothing into this world, and we take nothing of it.
Honestly, I don’t think there is a clearer way to put it.
- Who can add a single hour to his life by worrying?
A lot of us get trapped underneath the weight of all our stuff because we worry that we may need it, that we might hurt someone’s feelings, or that the meaning we’ve attached to the stuff will disappear if it’s gone.
Or we worry that we aren’t good enough, so we shop or compare or shut ourselves down in relationships. We lose our identity in our worry and in the end it’s all for nothing. We add nothing to our life by worrying, or by the actions we take from a worried heart.
- Be content in all circumstances
I believe that true contentment in this life is increasingly hard to come by. With all the striving to keep up and our soul aching for attention how can we ever feel content, in the good times and especially in the bad?
We find contentment in the simple things. We recognize what we have is enough, grounded in gratitude, and embracing it all as grace.
As I packed up the baby clothes for donation I felt in my heart that this wasn’t going to be a regular Good Will drop. Indeed, they were just clothes, toys, and teeny tiny shoes but I wanted to honor what those things meant to me. But I didn’t know what I’d do with them.
And as if God was offering me a gift in this difficult minimalism moment, a church friend who was soon due to give birth to her fourth child, her first girl, reached out that she needed girls clothing. And my heart leapt knowing that these items wouldn’t end up in a random bin of clothing, but be used by a loving family and growing girl. I knew my simplicity wasn’t just about making life easier; it was the tool God was using to free my soul as much as garage space.
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