The Discipline of Simplicity

But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.
–Matthew 6:33, NKJV

We are studying the discipline of simplicity in Bible Study. Last night our pastor asked us to ponder two questions: What is most necessary to begin to live in simplicity?
If there is clutter in your life, what caused the clutter?

In 2013, I began the process of de-cluttering my life after God challenged me to live more simply. I ended up donating half my clothes and throwing away loads of paper. In 2014, when I decided to move to DC, I downsized from a two-bedroom to a one-bedroom apartment. This time, I gave away half of my furniture and more clothes. You would think that after giving away so much stuff, I would not have a problem with clutter. But, I still do. However, while I still have room to donate more clothes, in answering my pastor’s question, the clutter that I struggle most with these days stems from my mouth and my mind.

Since childhood, I have had a very active imagination. For the most part, I use that imagination to create. However, over the years that imagination has lead to what I call mind clutter, which manifests as worry, fear and distraction. My mind clutter often leads to mouth clutter, which I define as speaking too much or speaking contrary to the blessings of God. For instance, right now, I am dealing with a situation that requires me to trust God. But, last night, right in Bible study, even though God told me to trust him, I allowed worry and fear to cause me to think and speak in contradiction to having faith in God. What causes that clutter?

Believe it or not, I struggle with accepting the blessings of God. In other words, when God blesses me, eventually I start to feel guilty. When I start feeling guilty, I start to worry and begin to fear that I should not enjoy or even have what God has given me. The simplest blessings cause this mind clutter. The mind clutter leads to mouth clutter and before I know it, I have talked myself out of God’s blessings. In pondering the situation, I realize that the source of this dilemma stems from my upbringing and the church.

Trapped between fear of succumbing to prosperity mentality and childhood reminders of being humble and not enjoying anything for too long or too much, I often don’t enjoy or shy away from the blessings of God. In fact, I often struggle with sharing my attitude of gratitude or even accepting compliments because I want to remain humble.

To be honest, I don’t own a lot of big things and the things I do own, it took me years to acquire them. While I can still stand to give away more clothes because my Mom loves to shop and I benefit from that, I do know that stuff is not my issue. My mind is the issue. While I have much work to do in this area, our pastor reminded me that if I seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, all these things will be added unto me. For me, all these things include peace of mind and contentment with God’s blessings.

So, now I turn to you, what is cluttering you life, why does that clutter exist and what is God saying to you about solving your dilemma?

God’s Love,

Patrice