My need for simplicity is growing. A few years ago I could have never had said that. This is a woman who keeps everything, receipts before I even did my own taxes, boxes and used tissue paper (tissue, not toilet paper!). Movie tickets so I would remember that time I watched it and with whom, every VHS movie I had bought (don’t make me feel old if you don’t know what a VHS is). I kept CDs, DVDs, every cellphone I’ve ever owned, I could probably go on, however, you get the idea.
At some point while collecting all these memories, and mostly things, my relationship with God began to strengthen. I began to realize just much stuff I had and the question I had to ask was “Why?”.
“Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal”
-Matthew 6:19 (ESV)
Where once I would have never thought of throwing away a receipt of my first CD purchase, I now don’t even think twice about it. All these boxes of tissue paper I have, I now freely give it away to anyone who needs to wrap a gift. I went through my closet the other day and was able to donate half of it to the Columbus Dream Center. For someone who tends to misplace items easily anyway, my house is a lot less cluttered, and easier to find items I do misplace.
This desire for simple living started in the heart, when I made more room for the only one who created, died for, and loves me. In meeting some amazing servants like James Barnett (CYNY), and reading authors like Francis Chan who are actually living what they preach. They are inspiring and clearly have an intense joy and much favor in their lives for living as they are being asked.
Jesus met Peter and Andrew and said “follow me” and they did. I don’t believe they said “Wait, let me bring my DVD collection” or “Let me show you all my receipts, proof of all these items that I own, and earned.”. And what did he instruct the disciples to do once they started following?
“Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse lepers, cast out demons. You received without paying; give without pay. Acquire no gold nor silver nor copper for your belts, no bag for your journey, nor two tunics nor sandals nor a staff, for the laborer deserves his food. And whatever town or village you enter, find out who is worthy in it and stay there until you depart.”
-Matthew 10:8-11 (ESV)
I’m not saying its wrong to acquire a DVD collection, or whatever you enjoy collecting. I still have a quite large Coca-Cola collection, but when it becomes equal or greater than the relationship, I have no problem letting it all go.
But if anyone has the world’s goods and sees his brother in need, yet closes his heart against him, how does God’s love abide in him?
-1 John 3:17 (ESV)
It all starts in the heart, as the transformation begins it doesn’t have to stop. Little by little things that once were a huge deal are nothing but a speck to what’s in store for your future.
And because we are his children, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, prompting us to call out, “Abba, Father.” Now you are no longer a slave but God’s own child. And since you are his child, God has made you his heir.
-Galatians 4:6-7 (NLT)