You go to church on Sunday mornings. You may even tithe occasionally—as long as there is nothing more pressing on which to spend your money. You walked the aisle as a young child and you know that you know, that you’re saved.
Everything’s hunky dory, right? Well, if minimalist Christianity is your goal then, yes, you’ve hit the mark.
Minimalism is a popular lifestyle choice today. Many people have come to realize the burden of excess that’s prevalent in our culture and have cleaned out their garages, sold their extra vehicles, and carted truckloads of stuff to the local thrift store. There’s something to be said for that! I am constantly cleaning out drawers and closets, purging them of unneccesary items and urging my husband (a bit of a pack rat) to do the same.
When it comes to Christianity, however, less is not more. Living a fulfilling and obedient Christian life requires more than the bare minimum, and here is why:
- Jesus Christ gave his all for us! He died on the cross suffering shame, rejection, and pain so that we could be reconciled to God and relocate to our heavenly home where we will be in His very presence for eternity. Can we not give more of our lives than a mere hour or two on Sunday mornings? Are we exerting only minimal effort in serving Christ?
- God has given us each a set of specific and unique gifts and talents with which to serve the kingdom of God. If we are not using those gifts, we are inhibiting the function of His church. Of course, not everyone is equipped to teach a Sunday school class or to participate in the music program as a singer or instrumentalist, but perhaps you have a special gift for intercessory prayer or service to the elderly. As the old saying goes, “We are saved to serve, not saved to sit!”
- If you have fallen into complacency and are living a minimalist Christian life, you may be—subtly— dragging others down that path right along with you. Dads: Is your life an example of devotion and faithfulness to Jesus Christ? Would your family say of you that serving Christ, spiritual growth, prayer, Bible study and sharing Christ with others are a priority? Moms: Has making it to the gym become more important than meeting the needs of a neighbor in distress or spending time in the Word? Your family and friends are watching. Dads, especially—as the God-ordained spiritual leaders of the home—are teaching by example every moment of the day whether or not they take their faith seriously.
Accepting Jesus Christ is simple and straightforward. We call on Him to save us from our sin, repent, and confess Him as our Lord and Savior—acknowledging Him as the Son of God and the only way of salvation. When we have a personal relationship with Christ, we have the Holy Spirit within us and our life can be filled with joy and peace. However, a truly fulfilling and impactful life requires self-sacrifice, service and devotion to the One True God. Don’t waste your life. Tune in to what God is calling you to do. Open your eyes to those God places in your path to help or encourage. Moms of littles: There is no higher calling than raising those children in the Lord—nurturing, loving, training and disciplining them. That is your service. Your time for other types of service will come. For now, embrace your role as their mama and fuel yourself with the Word of God whenever you can. Find other mamas for friendship and support. For the rest of us:
Don’t be a minimalist Christian. (better known as a S.M.O., Sunday morning only) Look for ways to serve and to grow in the knowledge of the Word. Give what you can to missions. Have a personal quiet time where you can commune with the God of the universe. Find someone to mentor or encourage. Begin keeping a prayer journal and watch how God answers your prayers for yourself and others.
By all means, embrace minimalism at home and purge the excess—clean out your garage, closets and drawers—but do not be a minimalist Christian.