Book Spotlight~ Less: A Biblical Guide for Living Joyfully with Less Stuff 6/1/2016

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Does Scripture encourage us to live a simpler lifestyle?

After his mother passed away, Spencer Bernard and his sister cleared out his mother’s house. He was confronted with all his stuff from childhood, still kept in the bedroom where he grew from boy to man. Getting rid of those possessions—the treasures he hadn’t even looked at in years—was initially painful, but in the end the process felt freeing.

He and his sister donated useful items in his mother’s house to a charity that helps single mothers. That seemed fitting, since his mother had been a single mom.

The experience of sorting out his mother’s house spurred Bernard to learn more about minimalism, but he needed something more than blog posts to motivate him to action. Bernard, a pastor, realized that the lessons most meaningful to him had come from the Bible. He sought answers in Scripture.

“If you read the minimalism blogs, you’ll find that the point of simplifying isn’t just to tidy up. The purpose is to remove unneeded things so we can prioritize what’s most important. The goal is to live a richer and more satisfying life by clearing away the distractions. But as we’ll see, Jesus goes even further and deeper,” says Bernard.

In Less, a quick read enriched with anecdotes about guitars, snow blowers, and iPads as well as end-of-chapter questions to help the reader, Bernard discusses what is lost when we crowd our lives with stuff. He lays out a Biblical foundation to explain why abundant possessions can hinder an abundant life. “When looking at Scripture through a ‘minimalist’ lens, I find inspiration and power,” says the pastor. “I’m excited at the reasons the Lord gives us to live with less.”