A Year of 21 Days: Minimalism (Day 1- Motivation)

February 1, 2013

If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.  2 Chronicles 7:14

Today, I have to make a list of the “musts” in my life versus the “shoulds”.  Not “I should lose five more pounds”, but “I must stay within a healthy weight range so I can enjoy life to the fullest.”  Not “I should reduce my debt”, but “I must pay off my credit cards so I can be generous when the opportunity arises”.  I may or may not share the list below, but I will post it somewhere conspicuous so I see it often.

Although my key verse is 2 Chronicles 7:14, I’m also read Ecclesiastes 5:10, Matthew 6:26, and  I Timothy 6:10.

PBS defines “affluenza” as “the bloated, sluggish, and unfulfilled feeling that results from efforts to keep up with the Joneses.  “Credit-itis” (per Adam Hamilton) is “the opportunity to buy now and pay later”.  Are there signs of affluenza and credit-itis in my life?

Yes.  Let’s be honest, even as rough as the last few years have been financially, you don’t get into the credit issues I’m in without some credit-itis.  I’m getting better; I didn’t use Fingerhut for Christmas gifts.  Until I stop having the affluenza that makes me want to keep up with my ex (I never have worried about the Joneses), I’m going to have problems. 

I’m read Matthew 13:1-23.  What happens to the gospel in my life when I am consumed by a desire for wealth?

The desire for wealth can consume me, choking out the life given by the gospel until it’s lost completely.  Even if I manage to not have the gospel choked out, the very act of worrying about stuff means that I have spent more time, money and energy on stuff than on God.

I’m praying for commitment to this process and that I learn gratitude through each step.  As part of that, I’m giving up whining.  Whenever I want to complain about something, I have to Pollyanna it and find the bright side.

Day one, here we go.

  • I must stay healthy for my kids.  Weight only matters so much as it inhibits my ability to stay active and healthy; appearance is secondary to a healthy body mass. 
  • I must use moderation in exercise.  Over-exercising is as unhealthy as not exercising at all.
  • I must watch what I eat so my kids don’t have to deal with the effects of colitis.
  • I must get out of debt so I can get past worrying about it.
  • I must learn to live below my means again so I can take care of my kids, pay my tithe, and practice random acts of generosity.
  • I must stop valuing things more than people.
  • I must realise I’m not taking anything with me when I die and put my treasure in eternity.
  • (more to come)
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