Day 21: Simplicity

For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evils. It is through this craving that some have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many pangs. - 1 Timothy 6:10

After experiencing extended unemployment and now running my own business, I have a different relationship with money. It seems to be a delicate balance between needing money to survive and trusting God to provide for my needs.

Money is also an assurance that I'm doing well, that the world is pleased with me and wants to reward my efforts. With money, I can buy impressive clothes, go on impressive vacations, and accumulate impressive stuff.

Last December I was challenged by a friend about my attachment to stuff, and I'm exploring that attachment by not buying any new stuff this year. That doesn't include things I need like food, business expenses, and new pens when my old ones run out. Probably the hardest thing is clothes. My friends have been modeling some really cute clothes this year, and I am not going to the store to look.

I've been amazed at the resulting lack of stress from not shopping. One time this summer I was at the mall running errands for someone else, and it was stressful. Malls are huge, with so many choices and many voices telling me that I need more stuff - more makeup to look better, more clothes to be cooler, new decor to fit in and be trendy.

So many advertisements telling me that I am not enough.

But I am enough. We are enough. I don't need more stuff, fancier things, more money, or exotic vacations to be valuable. 

I don't need to be more outgoing, smarter, or more impressive as a person to be enough.

I am enough as I am.

We are enough.

When I know that, when I practice believing it, then I am able to share with others. I can share my time, my things, my food, my business knowledge. When I am feeling insufficient, I want to keep everything to myself. But when I recognize that my worth does not depend on money and things, then I am able to give generously.

But if anyone has the world's goods and sees his brother in need, yet closes his heart against him, how does God's love abide in him? - 1 John 3:17

How can you simplify your life by caring for less stuff?

How can you simplify your obligations, leaving more room to do the important ones well?