Friday, April 24, 2009

Judge Not....O'2BAfly on the wall

We all know this verse and I'm not gonna give you a sermonette on it, I promise!

But I wanted to talk a little about being frugal, some stories that I've heard and read, and how others judged wrongly.

I read a story to the kids the other day that is in a story book that we have around here and it got me to thinking on this issue. In the story, the mother didn't take her kids to church because she could not afford proper clothing for them to wear. She KNEW that she would be judged and so would her children, so she taught them at home and came as much as she could without them. ...Can you imagine how she must have been talked about for not bringing her children to church with her? Or better still, can you imagine the assumptions that were made about why she didn't bring them? Oh, to have been a fly on the wall!

Another story I heard was about a young family who skipped out on one of the 3 weekly church services, not to avoid assembling with other believers because, in the quiet of their home, they still had church with their children during that time! But it was so that the husband would have enough gas to get back and forth to work. You see their budget was set; there was only so much gas money, and church was their only outing= place to cut anything. They felt it unwise to go in debt to go to church a set number of times when it was not commanded. They didn't want to sin or go against the Word of God in any way, and they prayed, studied, worked the budget and re-worked the budget, cried, prayed more, and finally settled that they would give the time to the Lord regardless of money or gas! But- they would not go in debt and just as soon as an extra $10 for gas was available, they would return to normal services. (And it did, almost a year later, the wife was able to babysit and they kept their word and used the extra for gas!) But oh, can you imagine the chatter that went on? Do you think others assumed they weren't coming because of 'small children' needing to be in bed? Do you think they assumed they were on the lake? Ah, to be a fly on the wall!

These were huge and grievous decisions for these families, they were not taken lightly, nor were they made half-heartily in either case.

I can think of another young family that made frugal, well, in some cases- downright cheap! decisions about their $$ just so they could give! I made the bright assumption that the wife was using cloth diapers one day because she "had to''. Well, she informed me that the X amount of dollars that she was saving on diapers was going to a child they were sponsoring through Feed the Children. Oh foot- in mouth- oh crowbar, where are you, I need your help! ..Oh, to have been the fly on the wall and not the yapper! -gulp-

There are more stories that I could tell...but its not the stories that I want you to think about.

We just never know what a family is going through! We just never know the struggles or needs in a home or in other's private lives. It is unfair to judge or assume. And frankly, its not our business! This is what the Bible talks about as "being a busybody in other men's matters" 1 Pet 4:15.

I've been amazed, touched, and convicted- as I've seen other people struggle to live within frugal means and still be faithful to the Lord. Who am I to judge that? Who am I to say what is sin- if the Bible doesn't say it is? Who am I to say 'that's too frugal'? ;-)


Organized Nutrition said...

THANKS DONNA for sharing this... It brough tears to my eyes, because at times, we have been that family... Too BROKE for THINGS...
Funny that we were actually looking at our budget the other day and I was WONDERING WHERE we could cut... besides Offering money, we also put aside $25 a month for just GIVING... giving to a cause at school, to a family in need, to a shelter... just giving money.... Sometimes we roll over the amount, and have more to give the next month or two.... BUT I LOOKED AT MY HUSBAND AND SAID... We are NOT giving up this catagory... He agreed.... I would rather NOT go out to eat than take from our giving budget!!!!!
Eitherway, THANKS for this eye opening post!!!! Because all tooooo often we do JUST TO CONCLUSSIONS on so many things!

Joy said...

Great post! Some good things to think about! We are all going through different "seasons" in our lives and who are we to judge!

Nana said...

Boy, that was a very good article. I actually had to stop going to prayer meeting because we can't afford the gas money. In January my husband & the others he works with had to take a 30% pay cut just to keep their jobs!