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Thursday, July 14, 2011

Frugal Living

When you hear the word "frugal", what do you think of?  My own definition is when someone doesn't just spend money to spend it, but one who spends it wisely.  It would also be for when someone researches to get the best deal on an item - not just buying it as soon as it's found.  But that's my interpretation.  Let's see what others define this word as being:

(From Wikipedia).......Frugality has been defined by modern behavioral scientists as the tendency of acquiring goods and services in a restrained manner, and resourcefully using already owned economic goods and services, to achieve a longer term goal. Dictionary definitions of frugality focus on being sparing, thrifty, prudent or economical in the use of consumable resources such as food, time or money, avoiding waste, lavishness or extravagance.

Most of us are frugal to some degree.  I am in some ways, but not in others.  Example:  Tonight we surprised our four children with a late night showing of Cars2 at a nearby theater.  For many, this kind of outing is normal, but for us it isn't.  We only see one or two movies a year (an occasional third one thrown in.)  For us it is a waste of our money because we would rather just wait a short month or so and buy the DVD.  (There aren't too many we'll buy or even want to watch due to content, anyway.) For others it is their habit to see movies on opening night or soon after. 

On the other hand, we've been to four Texas Rangers' baseball games this year.  Some seats have been really inexpensive....others have been more expensive.....yet we do it.  Why?  For us, it is worth it to attend the games together as a family because we all enjoy it.  We don't go on yearly vacations (though we have gone on two very special Disney World ones!), so these mini-trips (sometimes just down to Arlington and back the same day) are a special treat.  Also, the games can't be bought on DVD in a few months.  They are live.  There is a difference in what appeals to us and what doesn't.  But we're all different and have different ideas on things.

Frugal living is different for everyone; however, there is one area that none of us should ever be frugal. Look again at the end definition of frugal: focus on being sparing, thrifty, prudent or economical in the use of consumable resources such as food, time or money, avoiding waste, lavishness or extravagance.  In our walk as Christians, in order to live out Jesus Christ's example we can not be frugal in lots of ways.  Contrary, we must NOT be sparing with our food, time, or money as it relates to helping others.  Of course we shouldn't waste and we should spend wisely, but we should exercise lavishness and extravagance in our response to others.  We should graciously give to those in need and to the Lord's church - to further His work.  

Our giving and service to God isn't that He needs what we can give.  We need HIM!  And because we need Him, He has given us His Son. We need to and must serve Him because of what He has already done for all of us.  When we serve Him in this way, our frugal living will take on a whole new meaning!  Our desire to be frugal will be so that we can serve Him more and more.  We will realize that everything we have is His and is because of Him.   We're just stewards of His blessings.  

“The God who made the world and everything in it, being Lord of heaven and earth, does not live in temples made by man, nor is he served by human hands, as though he needed anything, since he himself gives to all mankind life and breath and everything.” 
Acts 17:24-25 

“I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing."
John 15:5

For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.
Ephesians 2:8-10

1 comment:

Wa Wa Waughs said...

And frugal living becomes enjoyable the longer you do it, I think!

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