When I read Scripture, I find evidence and instruction for living a simple life. No where in the Bible does it say "buy, buy, buy" or "consume, consume, consume" or "acquire wealth and possessions and material things" or "always want more".
Instead, it says....
But godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it. But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that. ~ 1 Timothy 6:6-8 (Paul writing about the love of money)
Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, "Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you." ~ Hebrews 13:5
Then he said to them, "Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; a man's life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions." ~ Luke 12:15 (Jesus addressing a greedy man).
Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where you treasure is, there your heart will be also. ~ Matthew 6:19-21 (Jesus giving the sermon on the mount)
The above sentiment is echoed in Luke's gospel, but it's preceded by instruction to sell all your possessions.
Sell your possessions and give to the poor. Provide purses for yourselves that will not wear out, a treasure in heaven that will not be exhausted, where no thief comes near and no month destroys. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. ~ Luke 12:33-34
There is motivation in my quest for a simpler life. Motivation that far exceeds the freedom that results from owning and taking care of a house filled with stuff. Motivation that has a face and a name and needs hope.
I have a passion for bringing hope to children living in extreme poverty. I believe God calls His followers into a simpler life for a reason. As a first world Christian, I need to be released from wealth and work to release third world residents from poverty.
My minimalist journey is one motivated by faith and a desire to be obedient to my Lord. When it comes to daily needs and material things, I lack for nothing. Each time I spend unnecessary money on myself, I am missing an opportunity to provide the basic needs for someone else.
It's true...I could have a house full of stuff (I do) and continue buying more and more for myself and still be generous. But that seems a bit hypocritical, doesn't it?
I don't, by any means, claim to have figured it out, nor have I mastered my impluses...sometimes it's two steps forward and three steps back. But I'm thankful to have a purpose and a passion to keep me focused on this journey.
I'd love to hear what motivates you on this journey.