Oct 21, 2019 • Written by Elizabeth Nejedlo
A Minimized Heart (Minimalism Series)
I am not a minimalist.
Not in any way, shape, or form.
My family actually laughed when I told them that the subject I was going to be writing about was minimalism. My daughter even teasingly went as far as to say that I like to hoard things.
I certainly do not. At least I don't hoard "things" anyway.
But there is something I do hoard. It is a quiet, little secret I keep. No one knows it is there...
We moved recently. For those of you who have ever moved, you know it is a great time to purge all the old, unneeded things in your closets, your cupboards, your basement, your garage. It’s a perfect time to minimize what you take with you to your new home. That's what I've spent the last several months doing- going through it all and deciding what should be kept and what should be tossed.
So what was it that I discovered during this time that I hoard?
It’s not candles, washi tape, or flea market finds. It is something less tangible. Something that often steals my peace and my purpose. Perhaps you hoard it too...
While going through buried boxes of memories, photos, letters, and mementos, I realized I had hoarded some shameful and hurtful words that some of these things had reminded me of. I have kept them secretly, guarded them carefully, refused to let go, allowing them to be etched on a nameplate that somehow tells me that is who I am.
I hoard them into my heart.
As they build up, all jam-packed in there, they squeeze out room for Jesus. They squeeze out space for light, for truth, for an identity in Christ.
And what happens when I have hoarded too much in my heart?
I get a little nudge. A gentle prodding that it is time to move, time to throw away all those things that are not good, not true, hurtful, unkind, shameful. A nudge that propels me to pitch them into a dumpster and make space for all that the Lord wants to fill me with.
So what does this have to do with minimalism anyway? We can minimize everything around us and yet forget to do the same within us. We impede the transforming work God wants to do in our lives.
Paul clearly tells us in Philippians 4:8 about the importance of our innermost thoughts saying, "Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things." Other Scripture tells us "take every thought captive" as well (2 Corinthians 10:5).
Let those words be a soft, gentle nudge to encourage us all to make space. To clean out our hearts. To think on what is true and toss out the lies we have been fed or the ones we tell ourselves.
To throw away the "you're not good enoughs" or the "I am not pretty enoughs".
To toss out lies of "unloveable" and the "unforgiveable".
To make space.
To leave only thoughts that are good and right and true and fill our hearts with Jesus.
And then to fill up that open space with these simple truths:
I am redeemed (Romans 3:24)
I am chosen (Ephesians 1:4)
I am forgiven (Ephesians 1:7)
I am loved (Jeremiah 31:3)
I am wonderfully made (Psalm 139:14)
I am a child of God (John 1:12)
I am firmly rooted and built up in Christ (Colossians 2:7)
I am God's workmanship (Ephesians 2:10)
I cannot be separated from the love of God (Romans 8:35)
I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength (Philippians 4:13)
I don't know what hurtful words you still hold in your heart, allowing them to take up room, but today let's take a step together in making new the home of our hearts. Let's start with tossing out just a few things and begin filling it with God's Word instead. In doing so, may each of us be filled with peace, an identity in Christ, and confidence in the all-surpassing love of God.
"Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it." Proverbs 4:23