Devotional Minimalism

What you need to realize is that your relationship with Jesus Christ is not just one more priority you need to work on—it is your very identity.

Soccer practice and work commitments are part of life, but they are not life. God is. Your goal is not to survive or thrive in society. Your goal is to glorify God. And yes, society is an arena for that, but when it edges Jesus out of your schedule, you are missing the point of life in a big way.


I consider myself to be an aspiring minimalist. (My wife says I’m a “non-practicing” minimalist.) Nevertheless, in my scrounging, I uncovered some bewildering facts…

  • There are 300,000 items in the average American home.
  • 1 out of every 10 Americans rents offsite storage. The United States has upward of 50,000 storage facilities, just under four times the number of Starbucks. Currently, it is physically possible that every American could stand—all at the same time—under the total canopy of self-storage roofing.
  • 25% of people with two-car garages don’t have room to park cars inside them.
  • British research found that the average 10-year-old owns 238 toys but plays with at most 12.
  • 3.1% of the world’s children live in America, but they own 40% of the toys consumed globally.
  • The average American woman owns 30 outfits—one for every day of the month. In 1930, that figure was nine.
  • Shopping malls outnumber high schools, and 93% of teenage girls rank shopping as their favorite pastime.
  • Over the course of our lifetime, we will spend a total of 153 days searching for misplaced items. The research found that we lose up to nine items every day—or 198,743 in a lifetime; phones, keys, sunglasses, and paperwork top the list.
  •  $1.2 trillion annually is spent on items we do not need.

We fill our lives with stuff that is meant to produce joy, but the Bible tells us that we only need one thing to live fulfilled lives: a true devotion to God.

2 Reactions To Your One Need

1. Acknowledge Your One Need

Psalm 119: 57 The Lord is my portion; I promise to keep your words.

The word portion in verse 57 is in the emphatic position in Hebrew. It has legal connotations and the verb is commonly used of parceling out shares or allotments of land such as in an inheritance. A portion is one’s rightful inheritance, one’s everything. So the psalmist is saying that “the LORD is my everything.” But before you say Amen to that, think about it. Is God your everything?

We all feel that we are too busy, that we have too many competing priorities – ballet lessons, karate practice, school soccer, work functions, family reunions, orthodontist visits, and medical check-ups.  And then the church expects us to attend two services and a home group and still serve!? And that’s not even including our careers. It is assumed by many employers that your after-hours time is not your own: there are e-mails and deadlines and staff retreats and team building weekends and training seminars and business trips, and an always-on phone.

It’s all too much.

But what you need to realize is that your relationship with Jesus Christ is not just one more priority you need to work on—it is your very identity.

Church life, devotional time, service, and investment in the kingdom is not another serving on a crammed plate…it is the plate.

You are here on earth to glorify God, serve his people, and expand his kingdom.

Everything else is extra.

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