Milk and Honey Magazine explains how young women can simplify their faith in Jesus Christ through prayer, the Bible, and community!

Simplify Your Faith

Hannah Coffman

Minimalism is a practice that’s trending right now, born out of an opposition to the rampant materialism and consumerism that seems to devour our American lives.

Minimalism goes something like this: if an object doesn’t bring you joy, throw it out. You need less to survive (and thrive) than you think you do. Edit the objects that make their way into your life and home. Travel through life lightly. Set yourself free from your possessions.

At its core, minimalism is meant to remove the distractions and metaphorical weight of our possessions so that we can focus on the intangible things that really matter: people and our relationships with them. As a Christ follower, I would add that placing less emphasis on our belongings helps us to prioritize God.

Jesus told us in Matthew 6:19-21 that our treasure should be built in heaven: “Do not store up for yourself treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there you heart will be also.”

I’m a fan of the minimalist trend because having less “stuff” helps me focus on what actually matters: loving God and loving people. Minimalism is not exclusively a “Christian” idea, but I think that it can help us to conform to a Godly way of life. Going back to Matthew 6, we’re told not to be anxious, “saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.”

What would minimalistic principles look like if we applied them to our life, and to our most important relationship: our relationship with Jesus?

In my own life, it looks like pursuing contentment by spending time in the Word and in prayer. My natural temptation is to pursue contentment by filling my life with distractions: clothes, books, a beautiful home... temporary things that money can buy.

But the Biblical approach is contrary to my approach. “Keep your life free from love of money, and be content with what you have, for he has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you” (Hebrews 13:5).

We need a paradigm shift. Our culture defines success by money and popularity. But God defines success by other things: Gentleness. Generosity. Abundant love.

“As for the rich in this present age, charge them not to be haughty, nor to set their hopes on the uncertainty of riches, but on God, who richly provides us with everything to enjoy. They are to do good, to be rich in good works, to be generous and ready to share, thus storing up treasure for themselves as a good foundation for the future, so that they may take hold of that which is truly life” (1 Timothy 6:17-19).

If we simplify our idea of success, we become truly successful. The world’s definition of success always requires more, more, more. But the world is wrong, isn’t it?

“Do not love the world or the things in the world…the world is passing away along with its desires, but whoever does the will of God abides forever” (1 John 2:15-17).

When we start following Jesus—when we stop worrying about our clothes, our grocery bill, our student loans, our car insurance—when we redefine our idea of success and begin to pursue Jesus above all else—something truly amazing starts happening.

It started happening 2,000 years ago:

“Now the full number of those who believed were of one heart and soul, and no one said that any of the things that belonged to him was his own, but they had everything in common. And with great power the apostles were giving their testimony to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and great grace was upon them all. There was not a needy person among them, for as many as were owners of lands or houses sold them and brought the proceeds of what was sold and laid it at the apostles' feet, and it was distributed to each as any had need” (Acts 4:32-35).

That’s incredible. “There was not a needy person among them.” That’s the answer: the answer to what happens when we decide to simplify our life and focus on Jesus. We share with the believers. We care for the poor and needy. Great grace is upon us all.

All of these passages are pulled together by one important thread: everything in the world will try to wreck your relationship with Jesus. Cut out what is distracting you: “let us lay aside every weight and sin which clings so closely…looking to Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith.” (Hebrews 12:1-2)


Pray. Read the Word. Repeat.