Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Good Stewards: Stewardship vs Frugality

This Saturday I will be speaking to the women at my church about being good stewards of their money, so I thought a blog post would help me get all my thoughts in order. The subject is quite vast. I am choosing to focus on the stewardship verses frugality, and how to go about that in a practical manner. FYI - when I am speaking of stewardship, it is in the monetary sense.

Good stewardship of our money looks different for different people. Cable TV would be frivolous for us, but not for my sports loving friend. There are seasons when time is short and we need to spend money on time savers or hired help, or risk insanity and poor health. How you spend your time can be as important as how you spend your money. It is important to keep in mind that spending time saving money can be well worth it, as it is adds income, which is untaxed and free to save or spend. It is a way in which a mom can stay at home with her children and still add to the household income. Our motives that steam from our hearts defines our penny pinching ways as either stewardship or frugality.

Stewardship and frugality are sometimes the same things and others times not. Frugality becomes bad stewardship when we give cheap gifts people really can't use. Hoarding goods we can't possible use, when someone else really needs them. Donating essentially junk like canned beets or stained clothes. Putting other members of the family under constant scrutiny of money spent. The motive is not to please the Lord, but of self reliance and selflessness.

A good steward lives generously, while using the money in the most efficient way possible in their circumstances. They view everything they have as belonging to God, and their love of God causes their thoughtfulness regarding how they make use of their resources in their charge. They also take time to enjoy life and the blessings God has given them in a balanced manner. A good steward lives their live in such a way as to be financially open to the plans God has for them, whether it be going on the mission field or adopting a child.

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