Moving is always one of those times you really get to see how much stuff you have. In a five year time we moved four t, times. Two of those times we went into a smaller place and this meant we had to downsize our stuff. The last move was six hours away and I did not want to make two trips with the truck. We sold items, and gave away lots and lots.
In the process I observed a few things, but here is one from my experience.
One thing I observed is we become emotionally attached to things. – I am getting better with this now than I ever have. However, there are a few things that would be harder to lose.
This emotion at one level perhaps has to do with identity. Our stuff gives us identity, the more we have the better we feel in the moment. Deep down we believe the commercials we watch in media that share our life would be better if we had – fill in the blank.
We all fall into the trap that we have to keep buying. That also may point to something deeper that needs to be dealt with.
In this time, I was reminded of the words of Jesus:
Matthew 6:19-21English Standard Version (ESV)
Lay Up Treasures in Heaven
19 “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust[a] destroy and where thieves break in and steal, 20 but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. 21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
If I sit on this idea for a moment, I realise all this stuff can be the focus of my heart, but for why. Yes, material possession can make life easier, however for many of us, we have become consumed by the things we own. This consumption fails to help us flourish in life.
This is where the problem is.
As Jesus followers, we are to live simple. As Jesus followers, material possession is not a sin, but when we cross the line of it consuming us it is. It blocks us from entering, engaging and experiencing the life we were created for.
In our life, we struggle to live simply. Living simply will look different to everyone. The core of it, I believe, is not being consumed by our things.
In my life, I have started to think through more of the how’s and why’s of why we buy things.
We are asking the questions, why do we need this? How will this enhance our family? Yes, we will still buy some toys, but I think we are smarter about it. As we get ready to move into our new home, I am sure that we are going to have to live in the tension of filling our life and house.
1)What if you had to move into a one bedroom place. What would you get rid of? (Ok Perhaps this is a question for families)
2)What if you had to get rid of half your stuff? What would go?
3)Make a list of “this is what I need in order to live.” How does that change the way you live? Does it help you focus on Jesus more? Does it help you build treasures in heaven?
4)Do you need to declutter and give out of your abundance?
5)Why do you go shopping?
What have you found helpful?