All our possessions steal something from us. Think about it. Picture everything you own and what you have to do to maintain it. The more stuff, the more time and energy it takes to care for it.
We can end up serving our possessions.
Can’t go do this, have to mow the lawn. Can’t do that, have to clean the house, or change the oil or, or, or…
We downsized houses three years ago and had to get rid of a lot to fit in the new house. It felt great! I didn’t realize how much energy my possessions were draining from me and got so much energy back when we got rid of it.
A certain amount of possessions are necessary for basic life and a few extras add depth and warmth and fun to our lives, but after that, they start to take more from us than they give back.
Before you buy one more thing, ask yourself whether it will truly enhance your life over the long run or not. Ask whether it will give you more of an ability to love and serve God or diminish it. Do you really need it or just want it, and will you still want it in a year?
Don’t be owned by what you own, let it serve you rather than be its servant.
What do we really need?
Answering the question of what we really need is essential to living a simple life, but let me expand on it first.
What is really necessary to fulfill God’s design, call, and purpose for your life?
For example, maybe serving Christ means it is necessary to have an $85,000 education to become a lawyer who will defend assaults on Christian living. In that case, your wardrobe would have to be appropriate for a courtroom too. It might be necessary to take clients to lunch and so an expense account would be required as well. These would all be legitimate needs for you to serve God as He has called you.
Maybe you are called to work in the “blue-collar” section of American life. Your clothing would probably not include a power suit and your education would probably be much less expensive, but your mission is no less important.
The question is again what is necessary for you to simply be the person God called you to be?
What material things are necessary for you to fulfill His plan for your life? What are you doing with the resources that He provides for you to serve Him?
Our lives are about Christ, what He wants for us and what He wants to do through us. Everything else is a distraction and probably unnecessary.