Book Review: Living With Less An Unexpected Key To Happiness by Joshua Becker

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In this brief book, (105 pages to be exact), Joshua Becker, author of Becoming Minimalist, husband and father of two, invites the reader to explore the lifestyle of minimalism through examining Jesus’ thoughts on possessions, revealing his personal journey towards living a life with less and it’s ensuing benefits. If you’re already too excited to read the rest of this review, click here to visit the books website or grab your own copy on Amazon in paperback or for Kindle.

Throughout this book, I was prompted to consider several concepts: 1) all hearts desire greater things than the pursuit of possessions 2) we are happier and more fulfilled when our lifestyle mirrors this truth 3) the benefits of owning less far outweigh the sacrifices (and these benefits are described in great detail). Becker writes:

The heart knows that possessions don’t equal joy. We know intuitively that happiness is not found in owning more. Instead, happiness is found in the pursuit of the lasting passions that God has placed in our hearts

Further, I was persuaded to critically look at culturally influenced interpretations of scripture with regard to possessions. Specifically, in reference to Luke 6:20 which reads in part “…blessed are you who are poor…”. Becker describes how in his experience the word poor was interpreted as spiritual poverty (a neediness for God) rather than just plain poverty as it says. The spiritual poverty interpretation potentially diverts our attention from an important message; perhaps it is better and even a blessing to have less. It is countercultural (to say the least) to imagine a blessed life with minimal possessions. I was impressed by the use of scriptures in this regard and even experienced a personal “aha” moment.

However, I was NOT asked to throw away my possessions and live in poverty. Rather, I was encouraged to examine my values and priorities and to contemplate the effectiveness of my possessions in upholding and nurturing those values and priorities. I found this to be a far more relatable and inspiring approach.

I believe this book book will appeal to a few types of readers: 1) individuals wanting to understand minimalism from a biblical perspective 2) those who have no idea what minimalism is and 3) those who are tentative about the lifestyle but may have a spark of curiosity. Though this book is geared toward a younger audience, I think it is perfectly suited for adults and is well worth the read.

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