Downsizing

In the news lately we hear of ways that people are dealing with the economic crisis.

People are downsizing their cars and homes. People are going room by room and getting rid of clutter, even their clothes closets have been put on a diet. We are told how people are helping each other not to gather clutter as they shop (in other words being accountable to each other). Many express the freedom they have with less or living minimalistic. What does the Bible say about compulsivity and then de-cluttering of our lives?


In Galatians 5 Message
“My counsel is this: Live freely, animated, and motivated by God’s Spirit. Then you won’t feed the compulsions of selfishness.” Compulsion really hit me. Oh my, I thought, I have bought things due to compulsivity just because they were pretty. A good friend of mine stopped me just the other day from buying wooden-soled shoes, which had beautiful flowers on top. I almost bought them, but she rescued me with reminding me wood soles are not good for me personally. They would have been clutter in a day or two with the fascination having worn off. A real friend indeed.

Galatians 5 goes on to say about the life of compulsions of selfishness: “It is obvious what kind of life develops out of trying to get your own way all the time: repetitive, loveless, cheap sex, a stinking accumulation of mental and emotional garbage; frenzied and joyless grabs for happiness, trinket gods; magic-show religion, paranoid loneliness; cutthroat competition, all consuming yet never satisfied wants, brutal temper, an impotence to love or be loved; divided homes and divided lives, small minded and lopsided pursuits, the vicious habit of depersonalizing everyone as a rival; uncontrolled and uncontrollable addictions, ugly parodies of community.”

If we live freely Galatians says , “He (God) brings gifts into our lives, much the same way that fruit appears in an orchard – things like affection for others, exuberance about live, serenity. We develop a willingness to stick with things, a sense of compassion in the heart, and a conviction that permeates things and people. We find ourselves involved in loyal commitments, not needing to force our way in life, able to marshall and direct our energies wisely.”

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About rko777

I am a novice writer and painter who loves to be creative. I love singing but can't sing without a hymnal, except for children's songs. I love to make up my own songs and love the old hymns. I love to garden and got that love from my Mom and Dad who taught be everything I know from planting to harvesting to canning. I'm happy gardening, walking with my pug, JD Sir Winston Churchill, painting, and crafting. I love to spend Saturday's sitting in my rocker going through a bible study. I love working with elementary school aged children and seeing them use their creative gifts. I have taught Sunday school for a number of years and taught in the public schools for 18 years. I might say I'm retired but I spend most of my time subbing and enjoy it immensely. The kids spark my own creativeness.

20 thoughts on “Downsizing

  1. Good ideas. The premise of Minimalization is very intriguing and challenging…that is…the thought of not having clutter all around us with objects that have long lost their luster; being burdened with guilt feelings about having purchased another something like what we already have at home and don’t even like that much, anyway; having to care for it, hang it up, find a niche in the closet for it,
    having to explain to spouse or family members why we needed still another object that tickles our fancy. Shaking off those heavy bands of acquisition and the addiction to it is truly freeing to one’s spirit and good for the physical well-being, besides.
    It is wonderful when a friend(s) comes alongside us and helps us in the journey to freedom from these impulsive drives. It is wonderful that you would listen and heed. Those are great first steps for all of us. The Word of God says in James, not only to hear the word, advice, counsel, but to DO IT.

  2. I must say reading these scriptures from the Message Bible crafted my mind to a passage that so often encourages me with fright when any addiction knocks on the mind’s emotions,

    “But the whisky, of which they had drunk a considerable quantity judging by the ullage in the bottle that stood between them on the cabin table, had loosened Wyatt’s tongue and exposed his innermost preoccupations.”
    — Richard Woodman, The Darkening Sea

  3. How freeing to be able to truly say as David the Psalmist did thta we find our satisfaction in the Lord, abble to enjoy the beauty He provides and creates all around us, but not necessarily having to possess it for ourselves.

    “You satisfy me more than the richest feast.I will praise you with songs of joy.” Psalm 63:5

  4. Amen Rena. God has really put on my heart to downsize, clean out all the clutter and don’t go buy something without thinking it through. Bigger is not always better. It brings bigger bills bigger worries on how to make payments. Buying more because you want what you want just brings more clutter. More clutter steals peace and brings overwhelming feelings. Where to store it. Can’t have anyone over due to the clutter. It’s amazing to me that the things that we have to have, the things that we want more than anything can be such a stubbling block. Are we worshipping God or man made materials. We better pray before purchasing. We need to take one room at a time and clean out the overwhelming clutter and seek Jesus for our peace and not materials. Simplify our lives and get out of Satans trap. My husband and I just downsized our vehicle . We traded our Toyota Sequoia for a Honda CVR. The salesman printed a sheet out of how much we will save in gas. I was amazed. He used $2.75 per gallon. It was broken down in one month and years. I was amazed that in 5 years we will save around $8600 in gas alone. WOW! It’s smalled but my family is comfortable in it. We have smaller payments and better gas mileage. What a blessing. We need spend less time worry about our materials and more time with God. If we seek him first, He will take care of everything we need. Stop seeking with flesh and start seeking with Spirit. Allowing the Holy Spirit to lead us. Thanks Rena for this wonderful blog on downsizing.

  5. By the way I took my old clogs and painted flowers on them. They look really cool.
    Didn’t cost me anything and my creativity went a little wild. Maybe we need to turn our old items into Flashy Gems from Yesteryear.

  6. Rena,
    I love this blog. I think we all have more clutter then we want to admit? Amazing, that when we clean out things that we can’t wear anymore or don’t wear anymore, we can find someone that can certainly use them. Recently, I had a friend ask if my boys had a pair of basketball shoes that her son could borrow, but I had to tell her that I had already given them away, since my boys couldn’t wear any longer. Downsizing is what we should all do, thanks for the blog, Rena.

  7. Matthew 13:12 “For whoever has, more will be given to him, and he will have more than enough. But whoever does not have, even what he has will be taken away from him.”

    Let us ponder this mystery!

  8. One thought that maybe this mystery has to do with a giving principle of keeping the flow (cash or otherwise) moving. If you have but hold loosely, keep giving, more flows back in to keep the cycle moving. If you clutch what ‘little’ you have tightly and selfishly to yourself, you may lose even that because when it’s gone, no more supply coming back in to fill the deficit.

  9. The Kingdom of God is like that…. seemingly, contradictions to the natural mind. “He that loses his life, for My sake, will gain it. He that hangs on to it will lose it.” The first shall be last and the last shall be first. The Matthew 13:12 Scripture that Sara quoted above….whoever has will be given more…..whoever has not even that will be taken away . “Whoever gives up family, moneys, lands, etc. for MY sake will gain families and moneys and lands
    and eternal life.” These things are spiritually discerned. But who can understand them unless one requires of the Holy Spirit to reveal the wisdom and the mysteries of the Kingdom of God to them.

  10. Interesting that we are taking about downsizing. While visiting an x church member just recently I realized how at times you ‘downsize’ many times regardless whether you wanted to, thought about, or how you feel about it. Division, known as divorce, in family and church, happens and then you move on in your downsized car as Wendy says. Maybe you save on gas over time but I wonder how many years you have to make car payments? Then some lose everything.

    So many companies are downsizing and causing many, many people to be without work. Layoffs. People losing their home. Downsizing seemly is a forced issue that seems so weak to me in God’s Kingdom.

    The economy in America is and has been downsizing. From the scriptures the message Bible of Galatians gives (quoted above) reads to me like downsizing might not be the right word here. But, Galatians says,

    “It is obvious what kind of life develops out of trying to get your own way all the time: repetitive, loveless, cheap sex, a stinking accumulation of mental and emotional garbage; frenzied and joyless grabs for happiness, trinket gods; magic-show religion, paranoid loneliness; cutthroat competition, all consuming yet never satisfied wants, brutal temper, an impotence to love or be loved; divided homes and divided lives, small minded and lopsided pursuits, the vicious habit of depersonalizing everyone as a rival; uncontrolled and uncontrollable addictions, ugly parodies of community.”

    I really don’t think it is about a pair of shoes or a car…..

  11. Oh, I see. Then maybe HE is talking about downsizing a voracious appetite for acquisition, for self-gratification, for control-freaky-ness that tries to manage everyone’s life in one’s immediate vicinity; downsize murmuring, complaining, downsizing restlessness for tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow instead of being into “today’ and what can I do for YOU, Jesus, today?
    Maybe HE means giving more of what you’ve got to make room for more to give?
    That sounds like another blessed mystery of the Kingdom.

  12. MG, what does own vicinity mean in your sentence? Not sure I understand your definition of Paul’s writings in Galatians. Are you talking about Message writing it like this, ‘cheap sex’….seems like the name of the game….

  13. By immediate vicinity I mean whether it is in the family, in the Body of Christ or in the work place; control-people feel compelled to control. Some try to control their grown children, or their grandchildren; some their work-partners. Not sure what part cheap sex plays in it but there are people who do try to control their mates and get away with it.

  14. I was using that particular phrase about downsizing for those individuals who try to control people in the situations and circumstances that they find themselves whether home, work, church, social situations. That was what I meant by “vicinity” i.e. the space that they operate in.

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