Willing to be Illuminated and Pierced

Posts tagged ‘thrifty’

Receive Much When You Give Much

‎It was a cold and friendly morning, bringing in whisps of that early Christmas sensation once again. As usual, I greeted neighbors on my way to work. I was startled when one of them said:

“Good morning! Cold, isn’t it? It’s gonna be Christmas soon! Why not throw in some gifts to us?”
I only grinned, bluntly said, “Budget’s tight,” and went my way.
I was quite disturbed at that kind of greeting. Do I look like Santa’s daughter? Sorry, I don’t wear red.
Ok, I can pass that out as a joke. But I wonder why it is a common mindset to most of us to ask for a gift this Christmas instead of the other way?
Somehow, her greeting’s a bit off. Maybe because I’m too thrifty (and I admit that), but being generous dosen’t mean you can throw your money to everyone in the world.
Somehow, I can’t help but think that the poverty mindset had made most of us obsessed with the hope of being treated by another well-off person in your neighborhood. It’s a sad thing to use the Christmas season as an excuse for asking “aguinaldo” or gifts for the sake of self-gratification. We have had much of the culture of receiving rather than giving. The worst thing is when we receive we ask for more without ever thinking of giving back.
In the Philippines, parents accompany their children during Christmas to their “ninong” and “ninang” (godfather and godmother). When your inaanak or godchildren dropby your house, you have to give them gifts or money. But my mother taught me differently. Whenever I dropby to my ninong or ninang, I give them a gift. Usually, it’s a chilled refrigirator cake that I made myself (yummy!)
Remember the cliche it’s better to give than to receive. I guarantee you that when you give, it’s equally fulfilling as receiving — much better actually.
But when I give, I think about it. I don’t just throw boxes in the neighboor all around while laughing, “Ho ho ho!” I make sure that my gifts are given to the right people: ones who are good stewards of it and to your generosity, and not the abusive receiver. These are the ones who are always thankful whatever they receive. Much like planting a small seed on good ground.
I guess we have to shift mindsets. It’s time we give for the sake of love. Whenever we do, we receive much more than when we ask to be given.

 

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Wisdom From the Meager Things

IMG_20140803_084516_editI’ve been quite bothered lately about money. With the meager salary I receive and the enormous bills to pay and needs to buy, I tried to balance myself to survive…until the next payday.

Somehow, I regret the time I wasted my money on useless things like excessive eating when I was in my former work in a BPO company. I saved, but a little. I used this up when I was jobless for a year. I could have invested it instead in a reputable insurance company. Gone are that first ten years of saving. Now, I am getting to the next decade my career as a faithful worker.

So, now my salary’s not as prestigious as my former job. I’m not complaining. But, this is my time and age that I am learning to budget and save well. Even I am still on loan, I can monitor my savings. I am considering other ways to invest, as well.

But right now, I am at my lowest point. This affected my enjoyment to be a part of an extra job that I am doing. I love my job and also the extra writing assignments I do on extra time. But, I felt greedy to do more so I can be paid more. Having this kind of mindset disrupts the very purpose and the quality of the job I do.

Here’s one truth that pacifies me. In Philippians 4:19, Paul prayed, “And my God will meet all your needs according to His glorious riches in Christ Jesus.” The moment I received my salary, I just sighed, breathing this prayer to myself. Somehow, I can discern that in my meager finances, I am taught to be fully dependent to the God who has everything.

What we see affects our thinking. When we open our eyes and see that God is at work providing our needs, we’ll be surprised we have plenty, even if they are not financial gains. This is not the first time that I received more than the less I gained. Times before, I have received worst, which in the last week before the next payday, I was short of budget. Surprisingly, I survived without borrowing from anybody (not even from my mom).

And so, this truth encourages me. My God will really provide all our needs, because He knows them, and has the compassion and grace to sustain us when we fully trust Him. With this, I cling on to Him, as He teaches me to be a good steward of wealth. In this way, I gain more wisdom in choosing where should I spend my expenses, and in budgeting the rest for the coming days. Good stewardship is the lesson here and it’s a hard one to learn.

I guess the wisdom I am gaining at such a time as this is greater than the wealth I can ever accumulate (even if I get a million bucks). I believe when I learn to be a good steward of the little things, I can take care of bigger things that will be entrusted to me at the right time.

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