July 1 I Thursday
“And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work.” —2 Corinthians 9:8
How much stuff do we own that we no longer use but is in our homes? This January, I posed a 30-day challenge to everyone at The Peoples Church (Toronto, Canada), to get rid of one item every day for 30 days. Over those 30 days, I began to notice how much excess and abundance of possession I had in my own life.
There were three types of items to discard. The first type was simply junk, a good that I had accumulated, but was not useful for anybody. I would throw that item out. The second type was a gently used good that another person could use. For this type of item, I recommended donating it to a charitable organization that will redistribute it to others. The third type was stuff that was worth something and I could sell online, where proceeds from it would be donated as gifts to ministries that work amongst the poor, the vulnerable and the marginalized.
One of the things that I learned while I was on this journey was how much emotion was attached to a possession. I remember holding a jacket that I had used to wear over the years, but not anymore. All the memories came flooding in as I was about to put it in the donation pile. I remember the day that I bought the jacket, how much it was, who I was with, the emotions that it created within me and memories that I had when I wore that jacket on different camping trips or outdoor experiences. This started to reveal to me that, sometimes, we get attached to our possessions not so much because of the item, but because of the memory it represents. Possessions have a powerful way of creating emotions within us. I held that jacket one more time before placing it in the donation bag.
While it was difficult to let go of things, I had to learn what it means to be content and embrace, what I have termed, a “theology of enough.” In the New Testament, Jesus helped people minimize their distractions and desires that crave for more. Minimalism is not meant to be something that is mandated externally, like a law to be followed. Rather, it is something that is discovered within, by the power of His Spirit at work in us. It is the Spirit that enables us to say, “I have enough. I have no needs.” And the Spirit enables us to be generous towards the needs of others as we begin to let go of the appetite for more.
Will you prayerfully consider taking up this challenge for the next 30 days?
Prayer: Gracious God, thank You for everything that I have. Give me grace over the next 30 days to let go of at least one item each day. May the items that I donate and sell bless others in need. In Jesus’s name, amen!