In February of last year…yes 2014, we were told that our apartment complex was being sold and with that would be a complete remodel. There were several months of waiting and even times when we were told it was not going to happen, but yesterday we received a 30 day notice to vacate. Thankfully, I have been slowly purging and packing for the last several months.
Although purging has been a necessary activity, as we have been here almost 11 years. It has been very difficult. We have so much “stuff”. By “stuff”, I mean many unnecessary items. How did we get to this point of an over abundance of material items?
As I age, I feel myself moving into a minimalist mind set. We do not need all of this stuff. I feel like I just ate a Thanksgiving Dinner and pushed myself away from the table only to feel miserable from the over indulgence. I am miserable for a couple hours before my food starts to settle and then I do it all over again with dessert. (Does anybody else do this or is it just me?) How is it that we do not remember that feeling? We just keep doing it ever year. This is the feeling I get from all of our stuff…I am STUFFED but with things not food.
How do I overcome this over indulgence of items? How do I severe those ties of materialism? I have to be honest, I struggle with this. We do not live extravagantly but contrary to the American thought materialism does not equal extravagance. Here is a great definition of materialism, a preoccupation with physical things rather than spiritual things. Think about that for a minute…..how often do we seek and find value in the physical things in our our life other than in the things of God and what He sees as important?
But here is the irony, our stuff has created worry, chaos, and discontent, instead of life, joy, abundance, and contentment. We have the mindset that abundance is more stuff. Have any of you seen the Veggie Tale’s Madame Blueberry? The “Happiness waits at the Stuff-Mart” song is definitely our American thinking. All you need is lots more stuff.
It’s definitely time to renew our mind! Going through all of our stuff has made me realize how much money I have wasted, how much space has been misused, and how much time consumed in managing our stuff. I feel like my stuff is holding me hostage and I am ready to break free and live a life of true abundance.
How about you? Are you drowning in the sea of too much stuff? Are you spending valuable time on organizing and managing needless items that fill your closets and rooms? Are you being held hostage by materialism?
Let’s BREAK FREE!
Now is the hard part. The how.
I could very easily give you a checklist for each room of all the things that you could get rid of, but the reality is true change comes from our thinking. We have emotional ties to our stuff for whatever reason. We must change our thinking. We must renew our mind in order to make it a part of who we are not just what we do.
4 spiritual steps to breaking free from materialism
- PRAY– Ask God to reveal the materialism in your life.
- REPENT– Contrary to public opinion, materialism is sin. Do I need to say that again? I know that hurts, but that is the reality. “Stuff” has become idols in our lives and for this I am guilty! This god of materialism gets my service (my time, my money, and my attention) while I still am worshiping the God of the Universe. It’s time to tear down the groves and high places that are hiding in our homes disguised as stuff.
- MEMORIZE– The only way to renew our mind is through the power of His Word. This is the verse that I will be memorizing. Luke 12:15 — “And he said unto them, Take heed, and beware of covetousness: for a man’s life consisteth not in the abundance of the things which he possesseth.” There are also some great verses in 1 Timothy chapter 6
- PERFORM the doing of it. Start purging the unnecessary items first. Set goals for yourself and make yourself do it. Start small and build up.
Here are 3 questions I have been trying to ask myself and answer honestly in determining if something needs to be purged. (The 3 W’s to help you remember)
- Is it a want or a need? Is the item a necessity in my life or is it merely a want or convenience? I am not saying that you can’t have things that make your life easier. I am not saying you cannot have little nick knacks on your dresser. Only you can decide what you need to part with. Everyone will have different levels of purging.
- Is there a better way? For example, I have come to the realization that I have an over abundance of books. I cannot believe how many books we have. Just when I think they are all packed up, I find more stashed somewhere. Do I seriously need that many books? Can I get the books from the library or maybe check them out or buy them digitally?
- Does having this item create any kind of waste? I am not just talking waste as in garbage, although sometimes this applies. I am talking waste of time, waste of money, waste of space, and even waste of energy. (My energy!)
I am finding I want to live a life uncluttered. I want to live free from the bondage of anything. I am free in Christ and I want to live my life in that truth. That means breaking down the idols in my heart and the idols that I have set up in my home. Material things do not satisfy. When we try to satisfy with material things it creates an insatiable desire for more. I pray God will lead you and guide you in ridding your life of stuff! I would love to hear about your journey of breaking free from materialism!