photo by: Shirley/Oklahoma/Sep 2009
Because I Can?
Originally written & posted
20 Sep 09
Just because I can doesn’t mean I should.

This phrase has been making itself known to me a lot lately.
And I can tell you right now…
it’s not at all a comfortable thing for me to have to wrap my mind around.
That being said, I know that it’s important for me to do so.
“Just because that cookie is there doesn’t mean I have to eat it.” 
 “Just because I have the money in my pocket doesn’t mean I should buy it.”
“Just because everyone else is doing something doesn’t mean
that it’s okay for me to do it.”
I can see it’s applicable in so many areas of life…
but lately it’s been haunting me in the area of finance.

NOT MONEY!!  Not the dreaded “don’t go there!” topic.

Oh yeah.

I cannot escape the conviction of how I spend my money.  I thought I was doing well…making sure that 10% was going back to God.
The other 90% is what we get to keep…right?

Hmm…that’s what I thought too…but lately I feel convicted on how much
I claim for me instead of giving it away to others who need it more.

Not saying that we should never have nice things or
that ALL of it needs to be given away.

But what I’m being called-on-the-carpet about is
how flippant and careless I have become.
When our budget was tight…
I was forced to pay attention to prices and amounts.  
As our income grew, I was not so careful about
paying attention to those things.

However, I am seeing that was not right…
that was not being a good steward of the resources
that God placed into our hands.

While there are people who cannot afford to feed their family the basics…
Do I really need another set of cute pajamas when I have plenty others at home?
Do I really need to keep special goodies stocked in the house
“just in case” we have visitors?
(Half the time the “special goodies” aren’t even eaten by our guests.  
This is another area where I can see the wisdom in keeping things simple.)
Do I really need to spend more just to have pretty pictures on my paper towels?
Honestly, who really cares about that?!
Why spend more cash on brand names when, in many cases,
the generic is just as good?!  Not always as good, I have to admit…
but there are many cases where generic is good enough.

I confess to being a “brand loyal” customer…or so routine-oriented that I just keep buying what I’ve always bought…that mode of shopping requires less thought process.  But “stuck-in-a-rut” shopping can be costly as the prices go up while
we are not paying attention. 

God keeps trying to break me out of my “routine-oriented” personality quirk.
He’s confronted me about how I spend my time.
Now He’s confronting me on how I spend my money.
Think He’s trying to teach me a better way?
Yeah…me too!  ; )
I am willing to experiment now with trying lesser expensive
brands so that I can save more $.
I want to save more so we can pay cash
and rid ourselves of every sort of debt…but more importantly, 
I want to save more so that I can be free to give to those in need around me.
The number of “those in need” are increasing
around us daily as our economy worsens.
They need us to not only be willing but
also be able to share the blessings God has provided.

As I retrain myself to pay attention to the prices of the things I buy for my family…it’s an eye-opening experience of just how much those
“little things” can add up to a BIG total!

I think these verses apply perfectly:

“‘Everything is permissible’—but not everything is beneficial.
‘Everything is permissible’—but not everything is constructive.
Nobody should seek his own good, but the good of others.”
1 Corinthians 10:23-24

~~sitting here with a convicted heart…humbled by the lesson…
but grateful for the wake-up~~

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