Yes, godliness with frugality is a great gain !! Many of us are living in the ‘higher middle class’ standard of life. That means while we might not have lakhs and crores in our bank accounts, we do have a little more each month to spend on ourselves and on our families. And with that little more, comes the choices and decisions we have to take !!
Are we living to please God or to please our flesh and others? Even a child knows a certain principle of spending – we give him a big piece of a cake and ask him to share it with his siblings, he will break the large piece and give a portion of cake only from what he has been given to his siblings. That’s logical and practical as well! When we live with our families and spend for their expenses, we can spend only from what we have got in our plate. What if I have given 3 fryumps to my son and ask him to share 4 to his sister, his immediate response would be – Mumma I don’t have 4 fryumps! Likewise is the wisdom of God that He requires of us to live within the boundary He has placed us.
Rather there is a lust in men that we want to show others a higher standard of our living by our choices of homes, food, clothes ! Food, clothing and shelter are considered the basic needs of every man and we can definitely pray to God for these as mentioned in the Lord’s prayer – Give us this day our daily bread yet the world has been deceiving us so badly that our needs can no longer fit into the bracket of basic – we are tempted to live in luxury of food, clothing and shelter!! Living and maintaining a neat house is one thing and eating a healthy meal is another yet if our eating and activities are just to publish to others, there is something seriously wrong in our foundation.
As a child this might have been our struggle yet years after our walk with the Lord are we still boasting about the things of the earth, we have some serious repentance required in our lives. Nearly seven years into our marriage and now I am fully convinced that the size of our homes and the variety of our food is not the reason to invite others to our place of stay, it’s purely our love that decides it. I have known of brothers willing to travel long distances and sleep in the kitchen area of other believers to be able to have fellowship with them. Wasn’t that the life the first century believers had !! Life of contentment and simplicity.
Discontentment leads to grumbling and makes our desires rise above our needs. How nice it would be if each man learnt to live within the boundary God has placed him rather than compete with His neighbour. What leads to strife and how do conflicts originate? Do they not arise from our sensual desires that are ever warring in our bodily members? We are jealous and covet and our desires go unfulfilled and so we become murderers ( hate one another)
Today I see the social media as one of the most influential tool used by satan and the world to lead people astray! Facebook and Whattsap status are flooded with people’s achievements, home and car purchases, achievements, restaurant visits, gifts and what not – only one side of the coin !! A half cooked food and one sided information. I have often told my husband how nice to see pictures of families at their homes with regular clothes, rather than at a vacation, how nice to see pictures or videos of the children doing their normal rather than an activity just taken for the sake of a status…how nice to see pictures of the yummy home cooked meals rather than the fancy restaurant ones – those we can anyways find in the menu list of the restaurants themselves. We are no longer living as families or friends to encourage each other yet have become ambassadors of the world in the advertisement of clothes, holiday sites, restaurants and meaningless activities..!I Let not the technology lead us to tempt others or lead us astray, rather let us receive light and run away from such ungodliness!
Having said this we are also in great danger of falling into the pit of another level of ungodliness that we would rather have others pay for our wants and portray that we have been living frugally. This is utter dishonesty! I remember of a recent trip where we had to pay for a buffet breakfast. We have a 3 year old boy who eats pretty well and while I suggested to a brother that our son could eat in my plate and hence we pay only for one adult. That brother gently helped me realize that wouldn’t be right as my son would be having a meal at the expense of the restaurant. Rather the right thing to do was to pay for him as well. Wow!! it was then the Lord showed me another level of Christlikeness that we need to pay the price and that should be our attitude always and never should we do things at the expense of others. God will provide for our needs and His hands are never too short! If I am a person who never goes to sophisticated restaurants as I cannot afford or wouldn’t be willing to do so, I should also not accept a treat from a friend or family in such restaurants at their expenses…no that is greediness and selfishness ! If I myself am a person who is used to public transport why not travel by such modes for my own needs, why should I always expect lift from other families? If I cannot afford a certain type or category of clothes or toys for my children, why should I accept such gifts from others..!! And that too call it God’s providence !! Far from it – I have to learn to pay for my own expenses, I need to bear my cross and as much as possible I should try not to inconvenience others. There is no glory in boasting about what the Lord has done for me by providing me a 3 bhk house for a 2bhk rent, or a commodity at half it’s price, a vehicle received free and of no charge from a kind friend or a parcel of tasty meal from a friend !!! None of these should lift our hearts and puff our heads. Rather are we gladly willing to pay the school van driver a months fees when our child would have availed it just for a week? Would we get gloomy about the expenses or believe that God has a better plan for us or maybe the driver was in need of the money! Are we willing to buy others something useful while we ourselves live a life deprived of it. Would we still be at peace if we had to pay 20 bucks for a kg of tomato one week and 80 another week !! Would we be at peace and content if we had to pay double the house rent we had been paying just to save time and use it for our family? Or are we always expecting things cheaper, easier, convenient and less taxing !!! Is health, convenience and gifts signs of God’s favour and blessing? True to God’s Word – Godliness with contentment (in every situation – gain or loss) is a profit for God’s children !!!
Godliness with contentment is a great gain and if we haven’t received light on this matter, may we seek God to help us !!