Girls Write Out
Wednesday, October 24, 2007
I grew up with a very generous family, so I have to say I don't understand some of the evangelical "cheapness" that goes on. And by this I mean, taking joy in not spending money -- especially when perhaps you should. Case in point, if you have the money to clothe your kid, but allow them to wear castoffs that don't fit -- it doesn't send a message to unbelievers that, "WOW! They are living for Jesus." Or, "That family cares about the heart, not appearances! Good for them." It sort of says, they gave their kid a snake instead of a fish.

We all have a spirit of poverty somewhere in our lives -- maybe it isn't money. I know both rich and poor people with a spirit of poverty and that is, by my definition, taking care of yourself and your needs first, not trusting God to do so.

Attitude is a biggie here. Non-financial example: If someone else has a bestselling book, instead of seeing that God has designated that book and that author for that time, a person with a spirit of poverty says,"SHE TOOK MY BESTSELLER STATUS!" As though God made some kind of mistake.

When I first became a Christian for myself, I hated to go out to dinner with any Christian group, because inevitably someone wouldn't leave enough tip and I knew, I'd be shelling out more money to make sure our witness wasn't ruined. I grew up in a Union family, I appreciate a skill and I consider a good wait staff SKILLED and they deserve a day's wages. If I couldn't afford to leave a tip, I'd go somewhere cheaper or wouldn't go! But I've seen good Christians take the stance that the restaurant charged too much and they weren't expecting to pay that, so they got enough. Regardless of what the bill read.

Consider others more important than yourself. Money is nothing to God, absolutely nothing. When I put out money I don't have for a worthy cause, HE always, ALWAYS replaces it for what I need. It's the one verse in the Bible where He even says, "Test me in this." (Malachi 3:10)

Oh and then there's the judgment when someone HAS money that they're not spending it in a Christian way! "Did you see her car? Did you see her house? They're not Christian." We have no idea what's in people's hearts or why they do things, or what they give in secret! But we also don't have a right to judge -- just keep in mind, do you have a spirit of poverty somewhere? (Which comes out of fear and greed.)

Mine is hoarding. I had a mentally disabled brother who stole everything in the fridge at night, so I hoard things. Including: $60 Christian Dior spray-on makeup because once I went and they were out of my color. And I have a fear that I won't get what I need and Lord forbid, I might end up in drugstore makeup! I also hoard Mr. Clean sponges and laundry detergent/fabric softener -- like all heck will break loose if I don't have those things at the ready.
posted at 11:56 AM  
  Comments (10)
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At 7:20 AM, Blogger Timothy Fish said...

For the Scripture saith, "Thou shalt not muzzle the ox that treadeth out the corn," and, "The laborer is worthy of his reward." - 1 Timothy 5:18

Sadly, Christians are some of the worst when it comes to doing the right thing. I sometimes wonder if part of the reason God doesn't give us the money that we think we need is because we are so afraid to use it properly when we get it.

At 7:31 AM, Blogger Colleen Coble said...

A lot of that is just human nature. People like to hang onto what they have, unfortunately. Most of the Christians I run with tip very well. It's part of our witness.

My computer is probably the thing I'd hoard. I have to have a great computer that works all the time or I go buy a new one. I don't care much about anything else material. But don't mess with my computer. LOL

At 9:50 AM, Blogger Jaime said...

I think sometimes being "cheap" is being wise. But, I agree it has to come with balance. I certainly wouldn't want to cheap out tipping a waiter/waitress who makes a living off of that! Nor cheap out on giving to those in heed etc.

I cheap out on myself more than anyone. After 6 years of college education for my husband, being cheap is keeping us from getting into serious debt. So, while i agree with some of what you're saying, if it means getting clothes from a garage sale for my kids (albeit my non-existant kids), I would do that over clothing them in name brands and then shorting ourselves financially in other important areas. To me, finances are all a balance.

I really do agree with you about upholding a Christian witness with how we spend our money.

At 11:52 AM, Blogger Kristin said...

Great comments here. Jaime, being frugal and wise with God's money is not what I'm talking about. I'm talking about someone who would take away from someone else to be cheap rather than themselves.

At 2:47 PM, Blogger celestemc said...

Good Word Kristin!

This is a lesson that I'm ashamed to say has taken me years to learn. I grew up poor, and when I was saved I expected the "rich" to give their "abundance". I didn't understand the concept yet that you stated so well... "God doesn't NEED our money."

It seemed almost worse after spending some time in the Romanian Orphanages... I came home so angry and self righteous towards our country.

But God is so good! I have learned just how WRETCHED my own flesh is, who am I to judge others? And if I truly believe that God is ultimately in control of all things, then I need to simply let it go.

God gives, and God takes away. To whom and to what extent is between Him and that individual.

Learning to mind my own business in regards to others' financial appearances has brought peace and joy... and freedom as I no longer worry what "others" think of me. God knows my heart, and that's all that matters.

And yes, definitely praying for those impacted by the fires. Thanks for calling us together!

At 4:20 PM, Blogger Dawn said...

One of my favorite parts of the Bible is in Acts when everyone was so on fire for the Lord. They gave to each other what ever was needed. If they had it and someone else needed it, they gave. I guess they were so consumed with God that they didn't care so much about their stuff.
I'd would probably have gotten mad at someone that needed my stuff :)

At 4:37 PM, Blogger Kristin said...

Celeste, that is a HARD lesson. I think growing up poor damages you in ways that it's hard to trust, so I'm glad you give yourself grace there too.

I realized when you said this, another place I hoard. I hoard jeans. When I was growing up, I had the skinniest stick legs you ever saw and my mom had my grandma sew me polyester mini skirts -- WELL before the eighties when they were in style. It's probably why I never took to sewing either.

But that's out of an unrealistic fear and lack of trust.

Dawn, wouldn't it be great to get there? Think how you have to really be in touch with another to see their needs -- that in itself is a big deal. Stepping out and seeing needs.

At 11:07 PM, Blogger Cara Putman said...

great and challenging post, Kristin.

At 7:08 PM, Blogger Margo Carmichael said...

Great post, Kristin. You can't outgive the Lord. He owns the cattle on a thousand hills and He loves to give. So, why do I hoard books? Mostly ACFW books? Well, there's part of the reason, I guess! Sort of answered my own question. Almost. LOL

At 1:06 AM, Blogger Belinda-Jane said...

Wow... that was really good preaching.



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The Authors
Kristin Billerbeck
Kristin Billerbeck is a proud Californian, wife, mother of four, and connoisseur of the irrelevant. She writes Christian Chick Lit; where she finds need for most of the useless facts lulling about in her head.

Colleen Coble

Colleen Coble writes romantic suspense with a strong atmospheric element. A lovable animal of some kind--usually a dog--always populates her novels. She can be bribed with DeBrand mocha truffles.

Denise Hunter

Denise Hunter writes women's fiction and love stories with a strong emotional element. Her husband says he provides her with all her romantic material, but Denise insists a good imagination helps too.

Diann Hunt

Diann Hunt writes romantic comedy and humorous women's fiction. She has been happily married forever, loves her family, chocolate, her friends, chocolate, her dog, and well, chocolate.

Hannah Alexander

Cheryl Hodde writes romantic medical suspense under the pen name of Hannah Alexander, using all the input she can get from her husband, Mel, for the medical expertise. For fun she hikes and reads. Out of guilt, she rescues discarded cats. She and Mel are presently taking orders from four pampered strays.

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