Curb Your Materialism

My wife and I have never subscribed to the consumerist philosophy but lately we have been even more vigilant than usual in guarding against materialism. Aside from the obvious financial benefits of living within our means, it has also freed us from the pressures of possessions. We’ve discovered that the less we possess the less we stress.

From the start of our marriage, a scriptural principle from Matthew 6:33 has guided us: “But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.” What it means to us is that as we place the things of God first in our lives then the things of this world stay in their proper place. In other words, we possess our things instead of them possessing us.

Throughout this year, we have intentionally gone through our house paring down our possessions in anticipation of living a more mobile lifestyle. In fact, our mantra has become, “Minimize to mobilize.” Instead of materialism we’ve embraced the tenets of minimalism. Less IS more and we are reaping the benefits of it daily. We’ve never strived to own tons of stuff, but we’ve even whittled down what we had.

As part of our move toward minimalism, I’ve followed several minimalist blogs, including one by Dave Bruno at, which advocates what has come to be known as the 100 Thing Challenge. It simply suggests trying to downscale one’s possessions to 100 things. While I am not there yet, and may never be, it got me to thinking about how much extraneous stuff I own and has motivated me to donate hundreds of books and countless spare household items to my local library and thrift store, respectively.