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Monday, April 29, 2013

2nd Biggest Frugal Tip EVER!!!

Just over a year ago I did a post called Biggest Frugal Tip Ever and so far it has been my most popular one yet.  Which got me to thinking...what would be my 2nd Biggest Frugal Tip?

Being frugal usually means I'm looking to spend less, save more, re-create and re-purpose things... I'm trying to stretch the dollar and other resources and make do with less - that sort of thing.  And I thought of certain recipes I do and how I go meatless often and extend ground beef with this and that and use cloth diapers and such.  And how I budget for groceries and make it work somehow and stick to it and sometimes have enough to splurge on things like juice on occasion.

And suddenly it dawned on me.  My SECOND biggest frugal tip ever.  We learned that the first biggest frugal tip is really summed up in one word: contentment.  With a foundation of contentment and rejoicing in the providence of God for all that I need I am then able to go on to implement the next step of frugality.

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GENEROSITY.

Wait a minute (I hear you say).  I thought this was about being frugal.  What does generosity have to do with saving money?  EVERYTHING.  Because I find that being frugal can lend itself to being stingy.  To being penny-pinching when it comes to the outflow of resources.  In being frugal I can become almost TOO aware of the limits of my resources.  In being too aware I can forget that God is liberal in His grace and lavish in His blessings.  I can forget that He owns the cattle on a thousand hills, the earth and everything in it (including me, by the way).  People who are frugal are often conservative - somehow thinking that conserving things is so wonderful.  I suppose it is, but when it comes to generosity I'd like to err on the side of liberality.  Because in being generous I somehow become more frugal.

How does that work?  For me it works in that as generosity flows out I learn greater disciplines of frugality - I learn how to stretch things to make it work for us.  And if I run out of what I think I need I am challenged to either rely on God's provision of our needs or to re-evaluate what I deemed was a 'need' in the first place.

Frugality is good.  By all means, stretch your dollar.  But not so that you can hoard your stuff.  Stretch yourself so you can give more.  I guarantee that in increasing your generosity you will grow in leaps and bounds in frugality in ways you never knew was possible.

In generosity you discover more of the heart of God Who lavishes blessing upon blessing upon us in abundance.  He came that we might have life - and life more abundant.  Not life more stingy.  Not life more fearful of looming disaster and, 'will we have enough canned goods and bottled water?'  He came to bring life free from fear and worry.  Look at the lillies of the field and birds of the air - aren't they better dressed than we are?  And He feeds and clothes them.  And we think we need to scrimp, scrounge and save because He can't handle our day-to-day needs? Really?

Try a little generosity and then get back to me with the results.  I'd like to see how your frugality grows when you become more generous.  Because for me - generosity opens my heart to receive from God His abundance, not just materially but spiritually as well - as I discover what a good, kind, loving, gracious Father He is.  He gives to me without withholding. Oh to be more like Him.

Channels only blessed Master but with all Your wondrous power -
Flowing through us You can use us, every day and every hour!

Emptied that You should now fill me - a clean vessel in Your hand!
With no power but as You give me - perfectly with each command!

1 comment:

  1. I think generosity fits in great as a frugal tip (after you explained it anyway!). :-) I've been reading this week on generosity coming from 2 sources: having an abundance yourself and/or being compassionate. God is both; we can work from those two sources as well.

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