Minimalism, Over-Consumption and the Powerful Message of Hope

By Kristen Johnson

Things, things, things – do we really need more? Does a bigger house filled with more things, things, things, bring happiness?

Reducing consumption and focusing on things that actually matter is the heart and message of the documentary, Minimalism. The film follows Joshua Fields Millburn & Ryan Nicodemus, creators of the Minimalist Movement, on their quest to take their message of consuming less, less, less to the world.

I was completely inspired watching this documentary, because I know from firsthand experience that things absolutely do not buy happiness. Moments of happiness are found in patching up clothes we already own, buying used goods when necessary, and spending the time we would have wasted on organizing our “stuff” with our dogs and family members. But, I also finished the film feeling hopelessly jealous of people who are actually living an entire life of minimalism.

The life that Mr. Fields and Mr. Nicodemus are proposing is really a life filled with faith. We are advised over and over again in the Bible to give to the poor, help the needy, and to spread the Gospel message. Are we doing any of those things when we over-consume, buying things we don’t need made by people overseas who are treated like slaves? Do we really need rooms full of books, CDs, and movies, walk-in closets to hold all our shoes and clothes, multiple big-screen TVs, and multi-car garages to hold all of our toys and cars? No, we don’t need those things and they can’t possibly make us happy.

The documentary also showcases several people who are following minimalism, including several people who are living in “tiny” houses. What a fantastic idea – living with next to nothing, and at the same time doing very minimal damage to the environment because of extremely reduced use of resources like energy and water. These people will leave you inspired!

Thank you to the founders of Minimalism for providing such a positive message of avoiding over-consumption and looking instead to love each other. I am inspired by your message.

Eclessiastes 5:10 (NRSV): 10 The lover of money will not be satisfied with money; nor the lover of wealth, with gain. This also is vanity.

Serve all with love.

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