KonMari, Detaching from Stuff, and Traveling Light in this World

Tidying Up with Marie Kondo has become a huge success for Netflix. The show was green-lighted as a result of the global success of Kondo’s best-seller, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, and features Kondo’s unique teaching, known as the KonMari method.

Kondo says that she derived her method from the Shinto religion. After an anxiety attack in her college years, she became convinced that the episode resulted from having become too obsessed with the wrong things, i.e. the clutter, in life. Consequently, the KonMari method has one evaluate an item’s worth by holding it in their hands, and keeping only that which “sparks joy.”

There’re obviously flaws to the “does-it-spark-joy?” system. I don’t want to speak for everyone, but if you’re holding a screaming, poopy-diapered baby in your arms, it’s unlikely that (and probably worrisome if) unmitigated joy is running through you. Nonetheless, you shouldn’t get rid of the child. Or, for instance, I’ve never had any pair of socks spark joy when holding them in my hands. Yet I still recognize their value. Or, on the other hand, for some, holding a bag of cocaine might actually spark tremendous joy inside, but by all means, you need to get rid of that thing.

That’s simplistic. But that’s my point. The method itself is logically too simplistic to be a significant life tool. Nonetheless, the method’s popularity is clearly tapping into a public sentiment – i.e. in a postmodern, subjective, “you do you” world, we don’t know how to reasonably assess value. The result has been that this generation is developing an unwitting, but significant, awareness of Jesus’ teaching that “life does not consist in an abundance of possessions.” (Luke 12:15)

To read the rest of the article, go to Bread for Beggars.

Starting this week, the day after his posts go live, we are going to be hosting follow up conversations with Pastor James Hein. Join us on Facebook Live, Friday, February 22 @ 12:15 pm central or check back here to watch the live embed. Click here for the Facebook Live link then click “Interested” to get a reminder to join us on Friday afternoon. Please add comments and questions to the Facebook Live post.

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One thought on “KonMari, Detaching from Stuff, and Traveling Light in this World

  1. Mike Borgwardt says:

    This sparked a few thoughts, James:

    1. The “Spark Joy” mantra has taken hold in my household, and after a little (forced) practice, I’ve decided that, as an initial organizing principle, it kinda just works initially on the gut level. That’s fine to get you going, but making what I think are hard decisions about my stuff always becomes a kind of spiritual discipline, exercising what you believe. (Your point, of course.)

    2. Yes, “spiritual discipline” is a fraught term around these parts, for good reason. So, at the outset, I’m glad I know that grace hangs over every decision.

    3. (God’s grace, that is. Once, early in my ministry, I decided there was no reason for a pastor to keep 500+ albums and EP’s when he longer owns a turntable, so I gave them away. Years later I mentioned that selfless act to my kids, one of whom collects obscure vinyl… no grace there yet!)

    4. “Growing up in a financial crunch does remarkable things for your perception about the value of stuff” — and that cuts both ways: the biggest hoarders I have ever met were put in that state of mind by the Great Depression.

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