In simplifying my life via the KonMari method, I find myself surrounded by boxes of things I have had in my possession, but never really needed. I have stockpiled clothing, gadgets, do-dads, books, not to mention food, cleaning supplies, and other “necessities” that I must have in bulk in order to have “enough.”
While clearing out my things, Lent began, a season of abstaining from something in order to turn our eyes to God.
I learned this year, we are to fast not only to turn to God, but to turn to those in need as well. If we fast from food, we are to feed others. If we fast from shopping, we clothe the poor. If we cut out media, we give of our time serving others.
During Lent, we are, in essence, to share freely with those around us.
This is difficult.
Try teaching a child to share. He most likely will find it unfair and demanding of him to let his sibling or friend play with his things. If you demand he shares without expecting anything in return, he will throw a huge fit and may tell you he hates you for taking his possession away from him. This may or may not have happened in my house last week.
Our son has become so attached to his possession, his toy, that he cannot even express gratitude for it, but feels that he is entitled to it.
I am not much different.
I have let myself believe I deserve several jackets, depending on the season, multiple sweaters, choices of jeans, and tops. My neighbor may go with none.
De-cluttering is forcing me to face the stuff I have horded for myself.
The Bible is telling me how God desires me to live instead.
[side note: the standard here is two shirts. Just two. How many do I have?]
“All the believers were one in heart and mind. No one claimed that any of their possessions was their own, but they shared everything they had.” Acts 4:32
“Share with the Lord’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality.” Romans 12:13
“Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share.” 1 Timothy 6:18
“And do not forget to do good and to share with others, for with such sacrifices God is pleased.” Hebrews 13:16
“Suppose a brother or a sister is without clothes and daily food. If one of you says to them, “Go in peace; keep warm and well fed,” but does nothing about their physical needs, what good is it?” James 2:15-16
As I go through my clothes next, might I not only consider if my clothing brings me joy (as Marie Kondō teaches), but if perhaps I could spark joy into someone else’s life as well? Maybe I can make a difference in someone’s life with the dress I wore once, the heals that kill my feet, the pants that don’t fit, and the accessories that are just “not me.”
This post was prompted by the Kate Motaung’s writing prompt “Share” on Five Minute Friday. Every week, writers gather together on the internet and write for five minutes. Few edits. No judgment. Just a community of writers, collaborating together, encouraging each other, and sharing our words with the world.