From time to time, our pastor has a lapse in sanity and asks me to do the generosity focus for our church. I really thought I was done after I did it in the voice of Peter Cook’s The Impressive Clergyman, but still he asks. This is how I started last Sunday.
“Hi my name is Paul.” (They know me well, so I got a round of “Hi Paul”.)
“I’m addicted to things. Big things, little things, sparkly things, beeping things … pretty much anythings.”
Fortunately, it is an addiction I have started to fight. I doubt I will ever reach the less than 100 things level of minimalism (Do cables count as an item if they are connected to a computer? Can I count all the connected peripherals as part of the computer? Does WiFi count as connected?), but I want to have far fewer things. When we move again, I would like to be able to do it in a small U-haul.
It is not that things are inherently bad; they are not. However, things cost us, and they cost us more than we usually realise. We have to work to earn money to buy the things. Then we have to spend time and money to maintain the things. We have to have space for the things, which means a bigger house or a storage space, both of which cost more money. It adds up, and soon the cost of our things is well beyond what the things are worth. Aside from the money, there is the time worked to earn the money. We spend so much time earning money to obtain and keep our things we barely have time to use them. We rob our spouse, family, friends, and God of time so we can earn money for things and the upkeep of those things.
Once you get it, once you really see it, you start to have a very different view of things. It is not that you stop wanting things, but when you understand the true cost of things, you make different choices. When you realise that things steal time you could have with people, your view of things changes – or at least it should.
If you want to explore these ideas:
- Becoming Minimalist - A great blog by Joshua Becker. The post I’ve pointed to is a guest post by Jeff Shinabarger that will really make you think.
- Simplify – 7 Guiding Principles to Help Anyone Declutter Their Home and Life is Joshua Becker’s book. Available only on Kindle only (living what he preaches!)
- Living With Less (Simply for Students) is the above for the younger set. This one does have a paperback version.
- More or Less: Choosing a Lifestyle of Excessive Generosity I don’t usually recommend books if neither Lori nor I have read them, but given that Jeff Shinabarger’s book is recommend by Joshua Becker and the forward is by Bob Goff, I feel safe on this one. (Also on Kindle).
- Margin: Restoring Emotional, Physical, Financial, and Time Reserves to Overloaded Lives This book by Richard Swenson covers the wider issue of time and does a great job of showing how our things cost us time. Also on Kindle (BTW – This is a future must read marriage book.)
Great tweet of the week:
A good marriage’s reward is less about what it gives us and more about what it makes us. We are better together. @thepurebed
Links to blog posts that stood out to me this last week:
Featured Post – A must read article I saw this week:
Joe Beam posted Overcoming Premature Ejaculation – Pharmaceuticals, Methods, Devices ◄ A great article with good, current information on PE and what can be done about it.
Black and Married with Kids
Honeymooning Every Year — Why It’s So Important ◄ Yes and amen.
The Generous Wife
Laugh Your Way to a Better Marriage
Selling Divorce ◄ “Divorce has been oversold” – it certainly has!
Marriage Missions International
Non-Random Acts of Kindness ◄ Your marriage could do with some “prayed through and thought through” acts of kindness.
“It’s HER fault I’m not happy!” ◄ This is a brilliant post on something many have tried and failed to nail.
One Flesh Marriage
Redeeming Marriages with Jack and Janet
Love Is More Than A Feeling, It’s Also A Choice ◄ We all say that, but are we loving what it requires?
2 Mistakes Couples Make with Marriage Counseling ◄ ANY marriage can benefit, and some won’t survive without it.
The Romantic Vineyard
Marriage Is – Being On The Same Team Fighting A Common Enemy ◄ Once you figure that out, the rest is easy.
Safe at home
Getting Old Doesn’t Need To Mean Getting Worse ◄ This post is so true!
…to Love Honor and Vacuum