Image "My Friend" by Helen Thomas Robson www.capturedmiracles.org (Used by Permission)
Minimalism from a Biblical Point of View —

Biblical Minimalism© is "a complete, whole-person release of anything unlike Jesus, a letting go of everything that hinders us from following Him wholeheartedly and single-mindedly, and a relinquishing of all that brings us under bondage to this earthly, very temporary life." Cheryl E. Smith

Wednesday, May 9, 2018

What is Biblical Minimalism?

Hello, friends!
I am so grateful to all who have commented, subscribed by email, and started following this blog!  Your support, kind words, and most of all, your prayers, mean so much to me, and I am so deeply thankful for you!  I SO want to help you in your pursuit of minimal living that aligns itself with the way Jesus walked.  That is why I'm here.  I pray that every post will minister to you and point you ever closer to the eternity-focused life God wills you to live.

To lay the foundation for this new blog, I am sharing a sneak peek from the first few lines of the introduction to my book, "Biblical Minimalism" —

"If I had to pinpoint just one passage of Scripture that encapsulates Biblical minimalism, it is this. 

“Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.” Hebrews 12:1,2

Biblical minimalism is not just about having fewer material possessions, sparse décor, or a specific number of outfits. It is a complete, whole-person release of anything unlike Jesus, a letting go of everything that hinders us from following Him wholeheartedly and single-mindedly, and a relinquishing of all that brings us under bondage to this earthly, very temporary, life."

In the Berean Study Bible, Hebrews 12:1,2 reads this way, "Therefore since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off every encumbrance and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with endurance the race set out for us.  Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer, and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God."

"Encumbrance" - a burden or impediment
"Encumber" - restrict or burden (someone or something) in such a way that free action or movement is difficult

In this verse, mention is made of two specific hindrances to running a successful, winning Christian race.  There are encumbrances, and there are sins.  Trying to live with either in our lives will weigh us down, impede our spiritual progress, and set us outside of God's perfect will.  Living life on the outside of the perimeters God has set creates continual misery in the human heart.

Jesus, our example, the One we are to look to and pattern our lives after lived His life on earth with no encumbrances and zero sin.  He was the pioneer, the One who perfected this thing called faith that we are endeavoring to live out in our daily lives.  He could endure the difficult places of His life, even the anguished torment of the cross because He knew this life is not the end.  The temporariness of this life was ever before Him.  Instead of focusing on how hard things were, He kept His eyes on the joy that was set before Him — the afterward, what was beyond the inhumane suffering and intense pain of the most horrific means of death known to mankind.

Jesus never allowed anything to box Him in.  He was 100% free to do His Father's will with nothing holding Him back.  He was all-in at all times.  He did not lay up treasures on this earth because He knew He was only passing through.  His goal was continually on the prize ahead of Him, and it is His will that we live our lives in the same eternity-focused way.

How is that possible, you ask?  How, in this debt-saturated, materialistic, demanding age of time, can we truly live up to such a high standard and such a simplified, minimal life?  How can we live our lives unbound, free, unfettered, and unencumbered when we are surrounded by and entangled with so many consumeristic distractions and expectations?

Stay with me.  You can do this.  Trust God.

In the introduction that I shared above, I said Biblical Minimalism "is a complete, whole-person release of anything unlike Jesus, a letting go of everything that hinders us from following Him wholeheartedly and single-mindedly, and a relinquishing of all that brings us under bondage to this earthly, very temporary, life."

So, what is involved in a "complete, whole-person release of anything that is unlike Jesus?"
What does that look like in everyday life?  Practically speaking, how can we do this?

Stay tuned for the next post in which I will introduce you to what I call the "Whole-Person Pie©."
Sound interesting?  It truly is.  You won't want to miss it!

See you then!

8 comments:

  1. Dear Cheryl,

    I am amazed at the depth of your spirit and look forward to following this blog. Thank you for opening your heart and sharing your thoughts with all of your readers.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Your kindness and encouragement are so precious to me, Cheryl! I am so blessed to have you follow along. May the dear Lord bless you!

      Delete
  2. Hi Sweet friend! I'm so excited for you!! How wonderful to set up a blog to a subject so near and dear to your heart!

    I hate clutter. So much so that I wasn't good about saving keepsakes from when my children were little, of the artwork or paper variety. You would think I have an issue with keeping things or being materialistic, but I don't consider myself a materialistic person. However, time and time again, the Lord has allowed very special things of mine to be broken or lost, especially of the picture variety such as my son's first steps and first year really which VHS got taped over. Or the only cruise I've been on where my camera was stollen and all the pictures from the trip lost.

    But you touched upon something here that made me realize, Biblical minimalism isn't just about material things, it is about an attitude and what we are holding on to that hinders us from serving the Lord with our whole hearts.

    I look forward to reading about all that the Lord has taught you and is teaching you about Biblical minimalism.

    Praying the Lord blesses the launch of your book and this blog.

    Sending you much love

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh, it breaks my heart to hear of all of the precious things you have lost, dear friend! You are so right that it is a matter of the heart and attitude, and God's Word is surely sharp and gets to the point of what is really inside of us. I am SO thankful for you, your support, and encouragement. May God bless you richly. Sending much love back to you!

      Delete
  3. Wonderful 'stuff' - pardon the pun! Looking forward to reading more from your new endeavor! I definitely struggle in this area. Not so much any more with wanting 'bigger, better, shinier, newer' but in just focusing too much on what things I DO have. I think God gives us good things to ENJOY . . . but we often put too much emphasis and focus on enjoying the things he gives and not enough focus on WHO gave them to us.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, dear friend, I truly agree with all you said. God, help us to find that sense of healthy balance that He intends for us. I am so grateful for your support and friendship and so thankful you will be following along!

      Delete
  4. Hi Cheryl, coming to you from the Grace Moments link up from May 10. This is the second post from the link up that I have read about minimalism - and that's exactly why your post and the other one caught my eye. I am so interested in the concept, but I always felt like there was something "Christian" to it, too. Like it was sinful to have too much stuff. God didn't mean for us to live like this, did he?

    The quote from the exerpt from your book sums up what I have been feeling/thinking but couldn't put into words - "Biblical minimalism is not just about having fewer material possessions, sparse décor, or a specific number of outfits. It is a complete, whole-person release of anything unlike Jesus, a letting go of everything that hinders us from following Him wholeheartedly and single-mindedly, and a relinquishing of all that brings us under bondage to this earthly, very temporary, life." Wonderful post! Thank you for sharing.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Dear Heather, You will never know what your comment meant to me tonight! It brought tears to my eyes. I am SO thankful God led you here, and I trust this blog will prove to be a blessing to you as you release the excess in your life. May God richly bless you. I am so thankful for your support and encouragement!

      Delete

I love hearing from you, dear readers! Let's chat!