Over the last few years, Marie Kondo, an energetic, effusively joyful woman from Japan has exploded in popularity in America with a NY Times bestselling book and a hit Netflix show. Her consulting business is to go into people’s homes and their workplaces and help them Tidy Up, but she’s not a “cleaning person.” Things are cleaner after she leaves, but it’s so much more. She goes into places where there are seas of stuff, piles of papers, years, even decades of items that people feel they can’t let go. She helps people learn how to do the hard yet ultimately joyful and liberating work of simplifying, learning to loosen their grip on the mountains of stuff they just can’t seem to relinquish. What Kondo uncovers underneath it all is that for far too many, we do not have a cleaning problem. We have a clinging problem.
This can be just as true whether we have an 800 sf. apartment and no room left or an 8,000 sf. home with all the room we could need and space for four more families as well. It is easy to keep buying, holding onto, hoarding far more than we need, far more than we can use, not to mention far more than we can sometimes afford.
Scripture is full of pleadings to lighten our material loads, to lower our pursuit of happiness through chasing after more money and the goods it buys. After all, “Life does not consist in an abundance of possessions” (Luke 12:15). One of the most refreshing words we could ever learn is enough. One of the most renewing words we could ever learn is enough. One of the most liberating, lighten your load, words we could ever learn is enough. Whether we have a lot or a little, even when things are tough, God’s grace, God’s love, God’s life is enough. “True godliness with contentment is itself great wealth” (1 Tim. 6:6).