Many people are getting engrossed in this “craze” called minimalism and it has gradually reached us here in the Philippines as Filipinos slowly realize the burden material things are putting in everyone’s lives instead of uplifting them.
There are many definitions of minimalism and each person practicing it has a unique way of explaining according to his or her belief.
For instance, some think of it as living in a small home or apartment with the fewest possible furniture and items inside.
Others think that it is about keeping your personal possessions under 100 things and your wardrobe to 33 items or below.
Some people believe that minimalism is depriving one's self of all desires and pleasures and just be content with what and who you are in the moment.
In other words, minimalism is as uniquely explained as the individuals who defined them.
My definition of Minimalism
I have defined minimalism as “about eliminating the unnecessary things in life so we can focus on the necessary”.
When it comes to “focusing on the necessary”, what I mean is focusing on my values and principles in life and aligning them to what I do every day.
It is about avoiding “compartmentalization”, when, for example, I separate myself as Raymund who is a husband and a father, Raymund who is a writer, and Raymund who is a servant of Christ. That should not be.
Minimalism helps me integrate each of my roles in life into a seamless blend that complements one another and does not cause friction and confusion.
This allows me to focus my life on doing my personal mission and life purpose and becoming who God wanted me to be, providing lasting impact to those I encounter every day in this temporary earthly journey.
I am never ashamed to call myself a Christian because I don’t see Christianity as a mere religion but as a personal relationship to my God and Creator.
Religion depends on man-made rules, traditions, and notions while a personal relationship with God is based on spirituality.How others see it and how others represent Christianity is not my problem.
With that, I believe that what I am practicing right now is “Christian Minimalism”, and this is what I came up with trying to personally define it:
“Christian Minimalism is eliminating the unnecessary things in life to focus on God Himself and the calling He gave me while here on earth.”Now, when it comes to “calling”, you should know that every one of us has a unique, divine calling. And it is up to each one of us to discover it.
Discovering your God-given calling involves a lot of time seeking God through prayer, fasting, and studying His Word. And it is not a one-time event, but a daily lifestyle.
I believe I’m called to be a child of God, a husband and father, a servant of God, and an inspirational writer and those are the things I’m focused on right now.
Definition of Christianity?
For me, the Christian Minimalism definition I mentioned above could also be the same basic definition of real Christianity itself. Why? Because Christianity is all about denying one’s self (removal of focus on one’s self) and focusing on the One who deserves all praises and glory.
I believe that true biblical Christianity is about loving the Lord God whole-heartedly, with all our heart, mind, soul, and strength.
It is not half-hearted dedication, but a single-hearted devotion to the God of the universe who loves us and who is the same yesterday, today, and forever.
The Bible says that Jesus Christ came to earth “just” to do the will of His Father in heaven and nothing else. Now, that’s the supreme example of what a minimalist is.Jesus was never stressed, worried, or flustered about material things, his status in life, and other "worldly" things. He is focused on fulfilling His life purpose, the mission God has sent Him to accomplish while here on earth.
In Matthew 6:19 to 21, Jesus said that we should not store treasures on earth that moths and rust can destroy and thieves can steal. But instead store treasures in heaven that moths and rust cannot destroy and thieves cannot steal.
He then ends it with the words, “Your heart will always be where your treasure is.”
Christian Minimalism at its very core is prioritizing God above all else and the work he has set for each one to do, which, by the way, a true follower of Christ should look deeply into.