Why God Wants Me to Be Frugal

Before I start, I have to confess to great reticence with this title– and the reticence kind of applies to the whole blog.  It seems that whenever we hear about someone who attributes God as part of their decision making process, that person or persons seems a little dump-tastic.  Think about the last time you saw a television interview where the interviewee talked at all about their spiritual beliefs. It tends to be in the context of “God spared my double-wide from destruction in the big twister!” and the individual being interviewed generally looks like he or she just got spit out from the swirling vortex of that twister. Seriously, people, did you not know that you were about to be on television?  Could you not have spared a moment to perhaps comb your hair or tuck in your shirt?  I keep waiting for the interviewee who professes faith and wears Christian Louboutins, lipstick and a decent blow out.  I can get behind that doctrine.

Please note: as research, I just checked out The Faith Network on television.  Women in pastel suits and thick glasses with egregious ash blonde bouffant hair-helmets are featured.  Just as disturbing as the sweatpant and oversized tee shirt ensembles.  This is the collective vision of what it looks like to believe in God.  No wonder I’m reticent.

My renewed frugality coincides with my renewed faith in God.   It seems awfully coincidental for there not to be a link.  Perhaps frugality and faith are both products of difficult circumstances.  If that is true, I would expect both to wane as difficulties ebb or as I get used to the difficulties.  John and I have agreed that even when (if?) our fortunes improve, we are unlikely to go back to our previous ways.  That, of course, remains to be seen, but our intent belies transience.

(BTW, if one of my students used that many SAT words in a single paragraph, I’d tell them to revise because it sounds stilted.)

So I figure either frugality drives faith or faith drives frugality.  I’m choosing the latter.  Because I believe in a higher power and a purpose greater than acquiring stuff, I choose to be frugal.  Frugality means I spend less of my resources, monetary and temporal, on worry and therefore I can spend more (mostly time) on what God (or Whomever) wants me to do.  What G or W wants me to do is a different post. 

I have to add that because of my belief, frugality doesn’t feel like a sacrifice.  John and I look back at our stupid days with relief, not nostalgia.  As in, “wow, that was dumb.  I’m glad we don’t do that anymore.”  I admit that I do miss wantonly ordering takeout but I recognize that the food I make is generally tastier and healthier than takeout, besides being significantly more cost-effective.  I don’t miss random shopping for “stuff.”  I occasionally miss John’s previous car, which I only drove rarely but enjoyed greatly when I did.  I don’t miss staying out until a bar closes and I sure don’t miss hangovers.  I don’t miss a zillion cable channels, since I don’t watch that much TV anyway.

I’m trying to catalog all of the ways our lives have changed because of economics and I’m hard pressed to think of more. Makes me think that we have genuinely changed, rather than a temporary shift.

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