frugality: A Wise, economic solution for your home and family life
Frugality is a wise, economic solution for your home and family life. For centuries it has become proven means to ending financial worries and stress, and it can do the same for you and your family.
When you think of this concept, you may think of someone living selfishly as a skinflint or a miser, such as in the character of Ebeneezer Scrooge from the Disney story, entitled, "A Christmas Carol", written by Charles Dickens. However, I do not advise this way of living a frugal lifestyle--not for a Christian anyway.
I am speaking more in the way of being thrifty with one's money, time, and resources through a biblical perspective. After all, anything and everything we do should and must be in praise and honor to God, for He is the Creator and the giver of all things.
frugality of your money
Everywhere you go in life, something somewhere requires you to spend out your hard-earned money to acquire it or use it. It's just a fact of life this day in time, unfortunately. Have you ever heard the saying, "There's no such thing as a free lunch?" Well, it is true in many respects, but there are a few "freebies" out there, it just may take you a while to find them.
So, what does it mean to be frugal with your money? Well, for one thing, you must remember that God is the One who gives you what you have in the first place. He expects us to use our money and resources wisely and to give to others who may be in need of the things we have.
Frugality just means to be careful and take thought as to how you spend your resources, how to make it last a bit longer, and what to do with it, or where to place your resources so that it will create the greatest benefit and good.
We place such high value on money and finance in our society that it is hard to ignore the ramifications of treating it wrongly. For many of us, money can finance our dreams in life, and can be the solution in helping us to overcome problems and challenges we face in daily living. It goes way beyond our basic needs of getting food, shelter, and clothing. Some of us get ourselves into terrible debt just so we can finance all our so-called "needs and wants".
Being a good steward of your income is that of working and saving for yourself and for your own family's needs, giving tithes and offerings to your local church, as well as giving money, treasures, or possessions to the poor, and saving for emergencies as well as your retirement can help in keeping the frugality of your home, in check.
Our Lord put a lot of emphasis on money matters because He knew there would be questions and concerns regarding what to do with it, how to make it, keep it, and spend it. Here are just a few passages of Scripture that talk about this:
- Proverbs 28:27 says, "He that giveth unto the poor shall not lack: but he that hideth his eyes shall have many a curse."
- 1 Timothy 5:18 says, "For the scripture saith, 'Thou shalt not muzzle the ox that treadeth out the corn. And, the labourer is worthy of his reward."
- Matthew 23:23 warned, "Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hipocrites! for ye pay tithe of mint, and anise, and cummin, and have omitted the weightier matters of the law, judgement, mercy, and faith: these ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone."
- Ecclesiastes 5:10 says, "He that loveth silver shall not be satisfied with silver; nor he that loveth abundance with increase: this is also vanity."
- Deuteronomy 8:18 tells us, "But thou shalt remember the Lord thy God; for it is He that giveth thee power to get wealth, that He may establish His covenant which He sware unto thy fathers, as it is this day."
- Proverbs 14:31 says, " He that oppresseth the poor reproacheth His maker: but he that honoreth Him hath mercy on the poor." Also, we read in,
- Malachi 3:8-12, where it says, "Will a man rob God? Yet ye have robbed Me. But ye say, 'Wherein have we robbed thee?' 'In tithes and offerings. Ye are cursed with a curse: for ye have robbed Me, even this whole nation. Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in Mine house, and prove Me now herewith,' saith the Lord of hosts, 'If I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it. And I will rebuke the devourer for your sakes, and he shall not destroy the fruits of your ground; neither shall your vine cast her fruit before the time in the field, saith the Lord of hosts. And all nations shall call you blessed: for ye shall be a delightsome land, saith the Lord of hosts.'"
Frugality of your time
I realize that most people think of frugality in terms of money mostly, but since we are allotted a certain amount of time here on this earth through God's grace and mercy, it is up to you and me to determine how we are going to spend the time we do have.
We will all be accountable to Him for how we spend our time, so it is not wise to waste it on vanities and trivial things our own lustful hearts might crave, or the things that Satan and this world's system has to offer.
In giving thought to how your time might be well-spent within frugality, here are a few suggestions to think on:
- Spend your time in helping others. Stewardship doesn't have to only mean money or possessions. This can be applied to how you spend your time as well. Perhaps you have a talent or skill in which you could help another person gain that same knowledge when you use your God-given time in doing so. You may want to spend time with family and friends, instead of spending it on the computer or your phone. It's always great when others have your undivided attention.
- Spend your time in service and devotion to God through attending worship services at your church, or participating in various Christian ministries. It is important to fellowship with other Christians at your place of worship, as well as with your family members. Coming together in corporate worship aids in uplifting our spiritual lives. Also, serving others within various ministries is truly a large need that anyone in the body of Christ can and should do as they work within the Kingdom of God. This is a most rewarding and fulfilling way of utilizing your time because you are continually growing your faith and trust in Jesus daily.
- Spend your time as you witness and lead others to Christ. Above all, this is the highest calling we each have as ambassadors for Christ and it should be taken very seriously in terms of frugality with your time. It is such a temptation to waste away precious hours on no-nonsense things because it doesn't take a lot of thought or energy to waste time on things that don't really matter. However, it may indeed require your time in the studying of God's Word, along with the effort of going out into the community in witnessing to others about Christ. In God's eyes, this is a more meaningful way to spend your time.
- Spend your time having fun and relaxation with your family and friends. This can keep your stress level at bay and can bring about much needed diversions from work, career, and other forms of daily activities that wear your patience thin. Consider this as a form of frugality of the mind and emotions, as it saves on your stress load and over-taxing of the mind and body.
frugality of your resources
Your resources may include a variety of things, such as electricity, houses, boats, land other personal property, vehicles, food, baby supplies, clothing, everyday items, and so on.
God has given you and me so much in which to live and breathe while we are living on this earth, but He gives to us so that we may take care of the needs of ourselves, our families as well as to share these blessings with others.
Here are some examples of frugality with your resources:
- Cleaning out your refrigerator to save energy,
- Turning down the thermostat in your home to save energy and to bring down your electric bill,
- Budgeting or saving your money or other resources so it will last longer for you,
- Giving clothing, money, furniture, houses, cars, or any other possession you may have to others in need,
- Offering free babysitting, homesitting, pet-sitting, elder services to those who are in need. Furthermore,
- Offering to buy groceries for someone, or giving them canned goods from your food storage to help sustain them in time of need. I personally enjoy doing this for others. Many times I will buy extra food or non-food items and keep in my kitchen pantry just so that I will have food items on hand in case I hear of an individual or family who are suffering lack in this area.
So, as you can see, there are various ways of sharing your gains and resources with others. God meant for us to use these resources, to spread them around by sharing them with others, not to keep or hoard them all to ourselves. It is clear that in our day and time materialism seems to dominate our society, but does not really place as much emphasis on frugality as it should.
When I first began studying this subject of frugality and applying it to my own life, it was an eye-opening experience, giving me a different perspective of what abundance and true wealth was all about!
A few of these Bible verses make it clear on what we as believers are to place emphasis on in terms of our frugality: how to use our money, wealth, possessions, resources, and the like:
- Psalms 37:16-17 tells us, "A little that a righteous man hath is better than the riches of the wicked."
- Proverbs 13:11 says, "Wealth gotten by vanity shall be diminished: but he that gathereth by labour shall increase."
- Hebrews 13:5 clearly says to, "Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for He hath said, ' I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.'"
- Matthew 6:1-4 instructs us, "Take heed that ye do not your alms before men, to be seen of them: otherwise ye have no reward of your Father which is in heaven. Therefore when thou doest thine alms, do not sound a trumpet before thee, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and the streets. that they may have glory of men. Verily I say unto you, they have their reward. But when thou doest alms, let not thy left hand know what thy right hand doeth: that thine alms may be in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret Himself shall reward thee openly."
- Proverbs 3:9 says, "Honor the Lord with thy substance, and with the firstfruits of all thine increase."
- 1 Samuel 2:7 says, "The Lord maketh poor, and maketh rich: He bringeth low, and lifteth up." And lastly,
- Luke 16:13 reminds us that, "No servant can serve two masters: For either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon."
In conclusion, as you go about your life as a Christian, consider the importance of how applying these concepts of frugality might just change everything you ever thought of regarding how you spend your money, possessions, treasures, resources, time, and energy for the glory of God.
The answers to any questions you may have on this subject can be found in the Word of God. He knows your lifestyle, what you and your family have, and how you are now using these resources in your life.
Perhaps you will want to change your living habits if you are currently living recklessly with your money, time, and resources. God had to change me in this area as well, and I am so thankful He did!
Look to Him for instruction on how to live a frugal lifestyle. Honor God with Christian values in your home life, work, play, and worship. After all, it was He who made us and created everything in this world for us, and in doing so, He made it to where we are to use and enjoy all these things.
Abundance In The Life Of The Believer
Budgeting Your Finances For An Easier Life
Charity Equals God's Love And Divine Nature
Consumerism Can Hurt Your Pocketbook
Materialism Causes Havoc On Your Finances
Cooking Skills For The Christian Homemaker
Sewing Skills For The Christian Homemaker
Stewardship: Demonstrating Faithfulness To God
Values In Christian Living
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