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Motherhood. Neighboring. Grief. Sarcasm. Jesus.

Writing what I’ve learned along the way.

Less Isn't More if Christ Isn't Glorified

Less Isn't More if Christ Isn't Glorified

  {Stay tuned on   Facebook   this week for some tips on organizing, decluttering, and maintaining a home with less. But until then, let's examine our hearts behind our desire for "less" in this new year. This Week's Series: #LiveWithLess}

{Stay tuned on Facebook this week for some tips on organizing, decluttering, and maintaining a home with less. But until then, let's examine our hearts behind our desire for "less" in this new year. This Week's Series: #LiveWithLess}

Allow me to just skip the humble bragging stage and say straight up that I’m really good at organizing.

My favorite part about Christmas wasn’t the getting-the-gifts part. It was the post-Christmas purging of last Christmas’s forgotten toys, untouched gadgets, and socks with holes in them. And then choosing a home for each new toy, gadget, and pair of socks we acquired over two weeks of holidays.

As one might assume – I feel all sunshiny inside when I hear the word “minimalism.” Living with less stuff overtaking our closets, cupboards, and drawers; and striving to make our basic routines and home maintenance simpler is totally my jam. It’s not about stagnant white walls surrounding an empty room, but about ensuring that the truly important stuff in our family’s life wins, instead of drowning in a cluttered house and schedule. It’s about learning to store up more treasures in Heaven than in our closets, cupboards, and drawers.

It’s about learning the virtue of contentment.

But godliness with contentment is great gain, for we brought nothing into the world, and we cannot take anything out of the world. But if we have food and clothing, with these we will be content. {1 Timothy 6:6-8, ESV}

Living with less is a lifestyle. One that many are interested in this time of year especially:

“I resolve to live with less stuff.”

“I resolve to eat less junk food.”

“I resolve to spend less time on the couch.”

Many of us are zeroing in on our lifestyles in the name of less, in the name of decluttering or tidying our homes and bodies and schedules. And I think many of us have the best of intentions. But I want to share about how the resolution of less can veer off the path of righteousness as well.

Less can become an idol.

Any goal can become an idol if we can’t say them out loud and immediately follow with, “to the glory of God.” If we look at the end of our resolutions and ultimately find vanity and selfish ambition staring us back in the face.

Too often I’ve strived for less from a place of trying to be in tight control of my surroundings. Or – as easily seen from my lack of humble bragging at the beginning of this post – from a place of pride. But nothing is worth striving for if in the end it isn’t meant to glorify God. Nothing is worth boasting in except the cross of Christ. {Galatians 6:14}

Less can become judgy.

Both our natural knack and our sweaty striving for less can lead to being judgy. We might look down on people with different natural knacks, or who are many paces behind us in their sweaty striving. But we never know how God might be working in other people’s lives for betterment and for His glory. So it’s best we don’t consider ourselves better than others. {Philippians 2:3}

We might end up being the Judas Iscariot yelling, “You could have refrained from buying that and given the money to the poor!” When actually the item purchased was used to anoint the Savior of the world. {John 12:1-8}

Less can become self-reliant.

The biggest pitfall of resolutions is the tendency to think we can better ourselves on our own. But unless we approach them with an understanding of our human weakness and our need to work through them in community with others, we set ourselves up for failure by February. Christ calls us His children for a reason – and He beckons us to both rely on Him as our source of sanctifying improvement, and to see the church as an extension of His loving accountability. {Galatians 6:1-2}

Less can become shortsighted.

If there’s one thing I’ve learned from our short time living in an impoverished neighborhood – it’s that lifestyle preferences are often a privilege of the wealthy. Here I am talking about trying to live with less; meanwhile my neighbors can’t afford to buy living room furniture. And so we must lift our goals of less up to Christ, because He will help us avoid extremes, as well as help us recognize what lifestyle and cultural choices we’ve falsely defined as “Christian.”

 

I pray that we won’t just go about our resolutions this year with the best of intentions, but with the only intention of glorifying God and better knowing Him. Be it in our homes, on our schedules, or with our bodies.

Grace and Peace,

Kendra

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