Maximizing Minimalism

Maximizing Minimalism

Maximizing Minimalism

It seems to be the trend to maximize minimalism

My husband and I, too, have been working at applying it to our lives, at really looking at what we are taking into our home and our daily lives, as well as what we are putting out into the world.

We have downsized our home, gone through all our belongings to decide what is most important to us, what we really need for day to day, and “what gives us joy”, and either sold or given away the rest. How big is our footprint? We are trying to live as eco friendly as we possibly can, using solar for power, lowering our usage of water, using natural products to clean, consuming less meat, etc…

…and that is as far as I will go with those points, because I really want to focus on our relational lives more than our belongings.

So, that being said, recent “issues” have both spoken to me, as well as got me thinking of one more area of minimizing — Let’s say, could we, or perhaps, should we, apply this to our tongues? Whoa! Wait! Can we be maximizing minimalism in our relationships?

I am not judging! I have a quick mind, quick wit, and all too often a too quick tongue… I can make people laugh, but I can also hurt others before I think again to close my mouth. And from what I have been seeing on the news recently, I know I am not alone… I mean, I don’t even have to watch the news, people are all around me… Also, I can admit that I too have been on the receiving end of a tongue used as a weapon.

...the prudent hold their tongues.

Proverbs 10:19

Prudent = acting with or showing care and thought for the future. 

Just as we have been deciding what is most important for our outer lives, and trying to make less of a footprint in the world so as to make it a better place for our grandchildren, we have to think about the consequences of the words that roll off of our tongues!

Be gracious in your speech. The goal is to bring out the best in others in a conversation, not put them down, not cut them out. Colossians 4:6 MSG
Kind words heal and help; cutting words wound and maim. Proverbs 15:4 MSG

Will my mouth be used to bring out the best in others? Will my words heal and help? Or will my tongue be used to wound and maim? Will I have myself minimized right out of my relationships because of using my tongue as a weapon? Or even worse, will my tongue be the one that breaks an almost broken spirit, that makes someone feel minimized to the point of worthlessness and the desire to throw one’s life away?

A word out of your mouth may seem of no account, but it can accomplish nearly anything—or destroy it! It only takes a spark, remember, to set off a forest fire. A careless or wrongly placed word out of your mouth can do that. By our speech we can ruin the world, turn harmony to chaos, throw mud on a reputation, send the whole world up in smoke and go up in smoke with it, smoke right from the pit of hell. This is scary: You can tame a tiger, but you can’t tame a tongue—it’s never been done. The tongue runs wild, a wanton killer. With our tongues we bless God our Father; with the same tongues we curse the very men and women He made in His image. Curses and blessings out of the same mouth!” James 3:5-10 MSG

Here, I must pause. I cannot look at only one side of this issue of the trouble with the tongue. I am not simply responsible for what comes out of my mouth, but also to how I react to what comes out of your’s. How easily do I allow myself to be offended? 

God teaches us

A person’s wisdom yields patience; it is to one’s glory to overlook an offense.” I am no longer a child, I have years on me - years of experience with being attacked by maiming words of a harsh tongue, which should have taught me not only how to be kinder to others, but also, to desire others to have patience with me when I do use my tongue as a weapon... Proverbs 19:11

More importantly, years of experience of God’s patience and forgiveness with me!

Overlook an offense and bond a friendship; fasten on to a slight and—good-bye, friend!” Proverbs 17:9 MSG
Make allowance for each other’s faults, and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others.” Colossians 3:13 NLT (That is not an option.)

How can I be maximizing minimalism with my reactions in my relationships? I love (I am being facetious) the question one is supposed to ask when deciding if a thing is keep-worthy, “Does it bring you joy?” So, if I want to apply that adage to my inner life… I mean, not what makes me happy – happiness might be a fleeting emotion, the “Ha! I hurt them back!” does not leave me happy for long. (How do I know this??) Joy goes deeper. 

Our hearts know that resentment or lack of forgiveness affects our ability to truly know joy. I need to minimize my overly sensitive self, and remember that God forgives me! Forgiving, as God forgives, brings me real joy!

How big is my “tongue print”? Am I being eco-friendly with it? Am I showing care and thought for the future? Am I maximizing minimalism in my relational world and know true joy in this area?

I would love to hear any tips you have learned on this topic! I am learning a lot through trial and error, but would much rather learn from someone else’s trials  

😉 and hear the wisdom that you have picked up along your life-route. 

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