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Minimalism or Frugality Can Be Idols, Too

I have had times when I idolized things, luxury, and comfort. I wanted a really beautiful home where everything was perfect and looked like it came out of HGTV. And I have also been tempted to idolize minimalism/frugality in recent years. It’s funny how easily we can make almost anything more important than it should be in our hearts and minds.

I have to guard my heart and mind and make sure Jesus is on the throne. Not anything else. Not lots of lovely things. Not getting rid of everything. Nothing can come above the Lord in my heart. Nothing can get before my love for Him and my love for others and His Spirit filling me and empowering me to walk in holiness. In everything in the Christian walk, there must be proper balance and Christ must be at the center of it all.

It may sound weird that minimalism and wanting to get rid of stuff could be sinful. Here are some ways I could take minimalism too far…

I could:

  • Obsess so much about giving stuff away and selling things that it is all I care about – no matter if it upsets my husband and children or not.
  • Find my security and identity in having as few possessions as possible.
  • Judge others for “owning too much” in my view and for materialism.
  • Get angry with my family if they want to keep things that are not sinful to keep.
  • Be prideful and self-righteous about how few possessions I own and how “good” and “generous” I am.
  • Try to impose my personal convictions on everyone in my family even if they are not ready to take such a big step.
  • Become the “stuff Nazi” and condemn other people for having possessions as if things, in and of themselves, are evil.
  • Be bitter and resentful at my husband or family if I can’t give away or sell most of our things.
  • Focus only on this one thing and ignore all of the other things scripture commands for me to do as a believer – like loving the Lord wholeheartedly and loving others deeply.
  • Become resentful or upset about receiving gifts from other people who are expressing their love to me.
  • Make getting rid of things more important than loving Christ and loving and respecting my husband and family.
  • Disrespectfully and un-lovingly get rid of things that are important to my husband and older children without their permission.
  • Push my husband to do things that he is not yet ready to do and refuse to follow his leadership unless he agrees with me rather than waiting on the Lord to work powerfully in his heart.
  • Demand to sell the house and downsize greatly when that is not something my husband believes the Lord desires us to do yet.
  • Be discontent if I have to have more things than I want to have in my home.

I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all this through him who gives me strength. Phil. 4:11-13

If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing. 1 Cor. 13:3

RELATED:

Do I Love the Things of This World Too Much?

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What has the Lord shown you about this issue? How have you learned to be content in plenty or in need?

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