Yes, I still think it is a good thing to pinch pennies, to try to find the best deal, and to use what you have to stretch a little further. But where does it cross the line from thrifty and become stingy?
I recently finished reading through the book of Proverbs and came across these verses (Prov. 23 6-7):
Do not eat the bread of a man who is stingy, do not desire his delicacies, for he is like one who is inwardly calculating. ”Eat and drink!” he says to you, but his heart is not with you.
Wow. Those are some powerful words. I must confess that there are many different areas where I struggle with having people in my home. One would be that our grocery budget is not enormous and I have been guilty of saying, “Eat and drink”, but inwardly my heart is not in it. That’s especially true if I make a big meal that exceeds what I would normally want to spend. The temptation is there to calculate, “What is this costing me?” Literally.
I think my stinginess is motivated by two things: First, I want to keep the good things I have to myself . I am often reminding my children of the “golden rule”. Yet how often do I apply this to my own life and the interactions I have with others in my home? I love being invited to someone’s house and enjoying what they have prepared. It’s humbling for them to have spent their time, energy, and resources on us. On the flip side, I know that God is honored when I joyfully have others in my home and share what He has so kindly blessed us with.
Second, I think stinginess is not believing that God will provide if my pocketbook doesn’t look a certain way. What if I spend too much over here?…I was hoping that money could go over there…I could use this money better for another need–on and on those thoughts go. If I’m looking out for myself and my own wants and needs and not how I can bless others, I am saying there’s a limit to how God can bless me in other ways.
I am so grateful to be married to a man who was born generous. He has often blown me away by spending his last dollar on someone else. He gives without restraint and in doing so often exposes my selfishness. I am thankful to God for bringing me conviction and growth through His word and also through the lifestyle of my husband. I pray that my home will be one where I am able to be hospitable, generous without restraint, and that God will be honored through my practice of hospitality.