The Everyday Girl Guide to: Saving $200 by 2014 (Greed and Other Deadly Sins)

August 29, 2013

Seven Deadly Sins by Rox Steady

“If you don’t like something change it; if you can’t change it, change the way you think about it”.  ~Mary Engelbreit

Attitude goes a long way in determining change.  A popular “fix” for being in debt is to find a way to pay it all off (lottery, loans, actually doing the work) without changing attitude toward spending.  A year later, that person is back in debt because he continued to spend well above what he earned.

Greed is listed as one of the seven deadly sins– and it includes being greedy for financial “security” or keeping up with Joneses.  When I say I don’t want to be rich, but it would sure be nice to have a place of my own, that’s a form of greed (although working toward attaining a place of my own is not).  When I wish I made more money so I could pay my debt down faster, but I stop by Starbucks on a regular basis for my must-have coffee drink (with chocolate, please), that’s greed.   Ouch.

Contrary to what certain get-rich Christian (and non-Christian) motivational speakers may tell us, God isn’t looking to make us all rich.  I’d even suggest He’s not really looking to make us all comfortable:

A faithful person will be richly blessed,
but one eager to get rich will not go unpunished.

Proverbs 28:20

Somehow, that doesn’t sound like “go out, make money, and I’ll help you along the way” to me.

Jesus gave 38 parables.  Of those, 13 concern money  [Fearlessly Feminine, Ortlund, p56].  Here are a few:

  • The rich young fool (Luke 12:13-21).  Notice especially verse 15: Then he said to them, “Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; life does not consist in an abundance of possessions.”
  • The widow who gave all she had (Luke 21:1-4).  Not exactly a parable, as it happened right then, but still an object lesson.
  • The parable of the talents (Matthew 25:14-30).  Although this is often used to show why we shouldn’t waste our talents, it’s also an example of why we shouldn’t waste HIS money.

Yep, that’s right.  I said His money.  You didn’t think that wallet you carry around actually belonged to you, did you?  It’d be like a waitress at a restaurant thinking that the money in the till is her money, rather than the restaurant’s.  Mind you, I do this all the time.  Since I’m spending His money on myself, I need more.  If I spent less on myself, I’d need less.  It’s not like I’ve ever truly known want.  He provides.  I just want more.

The earth is the Lord’s, and everything in it,
the world, and all who live in it;

Psalm 24:1

The biggest step toward changing my attitude, however, isn’t just realizing that everything I have is His.  The biggest change I need is to be content with what I have.  J Paul Getty was once asked how much money he needed to make him happy.  He replied with, “Just a little more.”  This from one of the richest men of his time.

But godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it. But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that. Those who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction. 10 For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.

I Timothy 6: 6:10

Contentment isn’t an emotion, even though we tend to treat it like one.  It’s an action verb.  It requires work on our part.  Once you’re content with what you have, it’s easier to save money… because you don’t need to spend it on things you neither truly need nor can really afford.

That’s my goal for today.  Be content with what I have so I don’t go chasing after things I don’t need.  It’s a step.




One Response to “The Everyday Girl Guide to: Saving $200 by 2014 (Greed and Other Deadly Sins)”

  1. Thanks for the link-back.

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