Sunday, November 16, 2008

Taking "frugal" too far

Today I was reading one of the "frugal" blogs I check daily. Usually I check quickly for freebies, coupons, or shopping tips. Today I was deeply disturbed by what was posted as a "frugal" tip. In this tight economy, the author suggested that rather than giving God 10% each week, it would be just as appropriate to give "bargain" groceries to a food pantry and give of our time and talents in trade of the offering.
I certainly don't mean to judge this person's heart but to challenge that way of thinking. Our family has made it our priority that we will always give to God first...regardless of what bills surround us...and with three kids in and out of the doctor's office, there are plenty! We set an amount each week that is to go to the questions asked. Guess what! God always always always meets our needs and so many many of our wants that it's humbling.
Pastor Mike preached an awesome message a few weeks ago on Stewardship. (listen to it here) By giving my money to our local church (which by the way is completely amazing and tops in my book!), we are giving to something much much larger than ourselves. By being a steward of my money and giving with a grateful heart for all that God has given me and done for me through His Son on the cross, I am contributing to the building of God's glorious Kingdom through providing the resources to reach people and keep our ministry going. That's important to us! (and that was a long sentence!) Read Deuteronomy 8 for more insight and reminders on giving!
I don't doubt for one second that God is going to provide for my needs. I have no reason to doubt whether I should give generously or not. Would I want my brother to have to leave the mission field where he's reaching so many people for Christ because I felt that I should "tighten my belt" during this "recession"? I'm pretty sure that would not bring glory to my God!
Sometimes my "harping" on giving can seem selfish because...well, the "church" does pay my husband's pay check. However, it's a great reminder to remember that it truly is for something much bigger than us. It's something I want to be a part of. I hope you do to! Couponing and bargaining can be a thrill, but when it cuts into my serving my Savior, it's gone too far. I pray that we will won't be swayed by the flurry of society to cut back and short change something amazing that God will do in our church...if we are faithful to Him!