Honor the Lord with your wealthProverbs 3:9
And with the first fruits of all your crops (income)
I get it! We all desire to look good and be socially accepted and I am no exception! I absolutely love new clothes and NAME BRANDS!! Unfortunately, this world dictates the things we should have and wear, in order to fit in with our tribe. Yet too often, those items come with a hefty price tag.
Confession. I am a recovering name-brander. It used to be so important to me that I had the right jeans, handbags, shoes or “whatevers” to fit in with certain crowds. To think back on all the money I handed over to line somebody else’s pockets makes me cringe!
I wish I could explain to my younger self the importance of giving God my best first. Why in the world did I spend entire paychecks on name-brands when there were reasonably-priced, perfectly good substitutes?
99.9% of the time the excitement of the purchase was quickly replaced with regret and buyer’s remorse. I would often financially struggle until the next payday. I painfully recall having weeks when I only went to and from work as a result of lacking funds for anything extra.
No GNOs. No take-out dinners. No charitable donations. More importantly, no tithing! Can you relate??
My new, overpriced purchase would quickly become a physical representation of my shame and I would wear or carry it like The Scarlet Letter.
Without money for the collection plate, I would literally try to hide from God by skipping church. I allowed the shame of my frivolous purchases to put a barrier between me and the only One Who Matters. Forgetting that the only approval I should seek is His.
My focus became more about material stuff and less about my Father, who owns everything. I failed to understand that money is a tool He has blessed me with to do His works and glorify Him. Money is not meant to be obsessed over or create greed in our hearts.
If you find yourself skimping on tithing, and unable to give to charity, I urge you to refer back to Proverbs 3:9 and give God your best first. Tithe and do good-works first with what you have been given and then fill your earthly desires.
This doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t have nice things. However, do not succumb to the pressures of this world to purchase beyond your means.
When it comes to purchasing something that you really desire, here are some questions to ask yourself:
How will this glorify God? Check out Galatians 6:8
Will this item take my attention away from God? Matthew 6:24
Is this purchase out of my lack of contentment & coveting of my neighbor’s things? Hebrews 13:5
How will this improve my life?
Is there a less expensive but otherwise comparable substitute?
If you find that the item is something you still desire after asking yourself these questions, make a list of how the item will benefit you versus the sacrifices you must make to acquire the item. Are you putting God on the sidelines for those Valentino rock-stud patent leathers? Are you unable to help your neighbor in need because you blew your savings on the newest Tory Burch bag?
Pray about it and sleep on it. If you still want it after all this, then budget for it and allow yourself to buy it once you have enough money.
I highly recommend searching eBay, Craigslist and online thrift stores, like thred UP, where you can often find great deals on name brand, new or like-new apparel.
Want to learn more about ways to save on a stylish wardrobe? I love tips from The Budget Babe and follow me on Youtube at Keri’s Eye Candy for ideas on how to make the most of your current wardrobe.
“In the house of the wise are stores of choice food and oil, but a foolish man devours all he has.”Proverbs 21:20