I mentioned last week Crystal Paine’s webinar and how much I had taken away from that hour…including the motto “Live frugally so you give generously.” That simple phrase continues to impact me. I want to be not only willing but also able to give generously – to give of my time, my talents and, yes, my treasure. I think there is much wisdom in the idea of living frugally so I am able to do all three. What does it look like to be frugal with my time…or my talents…and my money?
The definition of frugal includes: sparing with regard to money or food (oh my – one more way to consider being frugal!); careful; prudent, sparing and unwasteful.
My time. I certainly don’t need to be wasteful with my time. And I want to be prudent how I schedule my to-do list and the commitments I make with my time. If every hour is scheduled, and even over-scheduled, I will not able to give my time. Every week opportunities arise where I can give my time to meet someone else’s need or to simply be a blessing. The senior who doesn’t drive but needs to get to the pharmacy. Oh, and then the grocery store. A friend who would like to share her heart. Sitting with an acquaintance during medical tests because they have no family close by. And plenty of other little bits of needed time in between. I want to have time available to give – and to give generously.
My talents. This looks a bit like giving my time but when I am asked to use my gifts and talents,
as much as I am able I want to be able to do so. This might be simply planning the next Sunday school class outing (and they do love their outings!) or organizing another ministry related activity. It might be the Lord laying on my heart to lead a Bible study or plan a missions trip. It might be any number of things, but if I am already depleted and spread too thin – meaning, I have not been frugal and careful making commitments and becoming involved – then I am not able to give generously with my talents.
My money. The result of not being careful and frugal with my resources is much easier to identify. I am unable to give (above my tithe, etc.), unable to support missionaries or special missions projects. If every dollar is spent or already promised, there is not even a chance to meet unexpected needs of others or to be a blessing financially when opportunities arise. No matter what the budget, all of us can live in a way that allows us to be givers. I want to make sacrifices as needed so I am always in a position to give generously.