The Downsizing Series
A series of devotions about paring down so it is easier to look up.
For all that is in the world—the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride in possessions—is not from the Father but is from the world. (1 John 2:16 ESV)
I had a conversation with a friend this past weekend about downsizing. I told him I feel hypocritical for writing about it, given the amount of stuff I’m still clinging to.
I keep expecting the critics to show up and point out my hypocrisy. My friend encouraged me to keep writing about it and to keep downsizing because we’re all in process. I know this, but often forget it.
Indeed, minimalism, downsizing, and the tiny house movement all have their critics.
Some say only the rich can afford to embrace minimalism (because they can afford to go digital and they can afford all of the other fancy gadgets it takes to consolidate). Others refer to minimalism as a counter-cultural trendy movement that seeks to be cooler than the mainstream of society. If you browse social media, you’ll find people calling one or all of these movements inane, ridiculous and even sexist.
If you intend to live smaller, expect some criticism—or, at the very least, a few questions.
If a person has a beautiful home, the finest clothing, and the best toys, the world will applaud. It’s hard not to recall the old Malcolm Forbes maxim that ended up on t-shirts and bumper stickers in the 1980s: “He who dies with the most toys wins.”
1 John 2:16 offers a much different maxim, though: Pride in possessions is not of the Father, but is from the world.
That’s not to say you cannot have nice possessions or accumulated wealth, though. In fact, God often uses those who have much to help those who do not, and sometimes he simply chooses to bless his children. Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, David, Solomon, Jehoshaphat, Hezekiah, and Joseph of Arimathea all had many possessions, as pointed out in this article.
The problem lies in accumulating for the sake of praise from this world. The apostle John wants us to know that our worth or satisfaction should not come from anything we own. Instead, it should be found in who we are in Christ.
Lee Warren is a freelance writer and editor who has written twelve non-fiction books, one novella and hundreds of articles for various newspapers and magazines as well as edited more than 50 books that currently appear in print. He's a fan of NASCAR, baseball, tennis, books, movies and coffee shops.
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