Jesus & Essentialism

You’ve probably heard of living with less by now – or felt the need yourself to just have less stuff.

I can definitely relate; I’m a recovering pack rat that has gotten much better than I used to be!

I fit into the category of “essentialist” – having what you need for your lifestyle and not much else.

It tends to also focus more on quality over quantity, which I can definitely get behind!

My biggest “breakthrough” on this was actually my time spent in Idaho prior to my fathers passing.

I packed for four days and was out there for over three weeks!

That’s not exactly a lot packed for so many days! But it was a blessing in disguise, because it showed me just how little one really needs to live.

Purging my closet was very easy for me – I’m down over half of what I had, basing it heavily on my chosen lifestyle as a homesteader.

I kept only a few dresses and blouses, with the few other clothes being “farm” clothes since that’s what I spend my day in!

Next I’ll move onto bags and various other things, but just downsizing my closet to dramatically has already made a huge positive impact on my life.

In fact, I moved from a whole master closet (all to myself!) to only 3 dresser drawers and a drawer under the bed for my few dresses and winter sweaters!

That’s right – I had a whole master sized walk in closet of just various clothes and accessories, and downsized it so dramatically everything now fits into three dresser drawers!!

And it feels so, so good.

I spend way less time trying to put outfits together and even less time washing and drying now.

My shoes got downsized too.

I had a bunch of shoes I just never wore and kept four warm season shoes and four cold season shoes …. besides a pair of slippers and essential work boots for the farm, that’s it for my shoe collection!

While downsizing so much, it made me really focus on what I actually liked and what actually fit me well enough to keep, some things I don’t even know why they were still taking up space.

But living with less through essentialism has given me peace of mind, and peace of life, and ultimately it’s changed how I view “stuff” as a whole.

I’m ultra aware that none of us can take anything to the grave, and also unbothered by popular brand names that are just overpriced and contributing to the inhumane treatment of workers in third world countries.

Now, I’m more focused on quality rather than quantity and for me that means spending money much more wisely!

It’s also important because, to me, Jesus was a good example of an essentialist when He was in human form here on earth.

In fact, Jesus was homeless when He was here prior to the crucifixion!

And Jesus said to him, “Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay his head.”

Matthew 8:20

While on the earth, Jesus relied on hosts and the charity of others for places to rest.

He only had what He needed for the road – no more, no less.

He lived as an essentialist, knowing that His reward was upward – not of this earth.

Jesus wasn’t concerned with the big homes, making lots of money, or having the flashy new clothing styles of the time.

He lived simply, showing us a living example of building up riches for Glory rather than here on the earth, because it will all burn and be destroyed!

What a lovely example of essentialism.

It really bothers me when a professing Christian (especially younger generations) seem to be focusing only here, and not heavenward.

While there is nothing wrong with riches, there’s a fine line between having much and giving much …. and having much and hoarding much!

To whom much is given, much is required.

But now, it seems that has gone right out the window and the advice falls flat or goes in one ear and out the other.

Jesus and His time on earth is a prime example of living not only by faith and relying on a giving community, but also that having less can be an invitation to focus more on the Great Commission.

It guides you to focus less on self and more on others!

I am convinced that one cannot be committed to the Great Commission while full of self.

The very act of the Great Commission is that of selflessness – not selfishness.

Christians are instructed to be charitable and giving people, not hoarders for their own satisfaction while others suffer.

I’m preaching to the choir here, by the way! I have had many times where I wasn’t charitable and instantly regretted it, later grieving that lost outreach to a persons soul.

At the end of the day, a tangible thing is just that – a thing.

People should always be over things.

Time with loved ones should be over working all the time – workaholics miss so much and end up with lots of money and nice things, but to what end? Their family suffers for it and they end up with lost time, lost affection, and lost hearts.

Perhaps, another joy of essentialism is that it guides us to be dependent on Jesus.

With so much abundance that one makes for themselves, it makes it harder to rely on God.

We become dependent on ourselves, not the One that is able to give us what we need – if only we would have a little faith in the Master instead of ourselves.

Essentialism is something I intend to focus on – for good.

For the rest of my days.

I want to expand this into other areas of our home, in our life, in every aspect.

He is a good Father to His children, and many have forgotten to see Him as such and see Him more as a figure in their lives instead of being their lives!

It’s a hard concept to live out, especially in a culture so material based and cold, but we must remember that He is the sole provider and nothing we have is because of what we’ve done for ourselves – but rather what He has allowed in our lives.

Here’s to living simply and essentially in Christ …. shalom!

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written by a 20-something wife, homesteader, floral farmer, content creator & freelance writer.

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