Christian Minimalism

Counter-Cultural Living: Intentional Consumption and Living with Less

In my most recent blog post, I discussed how living as a Christian minimalist is counter-cultural. As Paul writes,

Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your minds, so that you may discern what is the will of God—what is good and acceptable and perfect.” (Romans 12:2)

We are called to live differently than society’s accepted lifestyle.

Now we are going to spend a three-part series exploring the practical aspects of living counter-culturally as a Christian minimalist!

A HELPFUL HINT BEFORE WE BEGIN: It’s easy to assume that someone must do all the things listed below to be a Christian minimalist. Nope! Christian minimalists strive to serve God and others by focusing on the aspects of life that matter most, and intentionally removing everything else. This will look different for each person, depending on their life situation.

You are encouraged to read the practical tips offered below and in subsequent blog posts as suggestions. Feel free to incorporate those tips that speak to you in your current context. Experiment. Try a tip on for a while and see how it feels. If it doesn’t work, you can always stop and try something else. Don’t be afraid to try something new!

Without further ado, here are some practical tips for living counter-culturally as a Christian minimalist.

This time, we will look specifically at how to be more intentional with our consumption and living with less.

 

Intentionally Consume and Live with Less

Unlike our consumer culture, which encourages us to continuously buy things we don’t need in order to chase an illusive materialistic happiness, Christian minimalists aim to consume intentionally and live with less. This is illustrated well in Jesus’ Parable of the Rich Fool (Luke 12:15-21). Jesus reminds us:

Take care! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of possessions. (Luke 12:15)

We are called as Jesus followers not to amass as much stuff as possible, but to focus on being rich in our relationship in God.

Here are some ways to live with less and be more intentional in our consumption:

  • Try using an app or software that tracks how you use your money. We use Mint. Take a month or so, and watch your typical spending habits. Pray over the results, asking God how you can best use your God-given resources in the future.
  • Limit or cut-out those superfluous things you spend money on without even thinking about it, if they don’t add value to your life.
  • Make a household budget around what is most important. Stick to it.
  • Get rid of those things in your house that do not add value to your life. Joshua Becker has a great book that goes into specifics called The Minimalist Home.
  • Experiment with how much you actually need. You will find that you need less than you think you do.
  • Curb impulse buys. When you have the urge to buy something, wait 2 days and then revisit it to see if you still want (or need!) to buy it.
  • Set an amount at which you need to discuss a purchase with a household member or an accountability partner. For example, if something costs more that $50, my husband Will and I have agreed to discuss the purchase beforehand.
  • Remind yourself regularly that we have a God who provides for us, and we can trust God to do so. We do not need to stockpile stuff “just in case.” God provides (see Luke 12:22-30).

 

Living counter-culturally as a Christian minimalist isn’t always easy, but it is always worth it. Which of these practical tips spoke to you? What can you try out today?

 

 

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About 
Becca Ehrlich, AKA The Christian Minimalist, is striving to be a Christian minimalist in a consumer society. She currently lives in Philadelphia, PA with her husband Will. You can read more about her story and how her blog came to exist by clicking the website link above.

2 Comments

  1. Ava

    July 15, 2019 - 9:52 am
    Reply

    I love your suggestions. I’ve started budgeting with the EveryDollar app about 2 months ago and it’s helped a lot. I will try to curb my impulse buys. Thanks!

  2. Chloe

    July 18, 2019 - 3:08 am
    Reply

    I was actually scared that the minimalist lifestyle could be a new age thing… But you used scripture and made me understand what exaclty it is. I am definitely taking this up.

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