So often frugality is equated with poverty; when in fact, it is some of the wealthiest people in the world who are the most frugal. And unfortunately, it is those of us who mistakenly spend money the way we think the wealthy do, who are the poor.In a lot of ways I think we turn to consumerism because we don’t want to be taken for economic failures. Our ability to consume and spend money allows for a short-lived sensation of self-gratification; it permits us to think for a moment that we are wealthier than we are.
The most devastating results of this thinking come when the proverbial “bottom falls out” and the spending cannot be maintained. Because we have been misguided, and wrongly associated our identity with our ability to consume, a sudden inability to uphold the cultural expectations can leave us discouraged and wandering. This is why the path to sustainable living and frugality is so difficult. We must find a way to stop fooling ourselves and disassociate our worth with how much money we spend.Instead we should focus on the answers to these questions:
- How am I making a difference?
- What is my purpose?
- What should I be doing with my life?
Perhaps we are unable to figure out what it is we should be doing because we are constantly running and we just can’t see past all of our “stuff.” (I know this was true for me!)It’s time to stop believing the lies of our consumer culture! All of us were created to fulfill a specific purpose, to make a contribution, not just to consume. We must find a way to stop buying stuff in order to validate ourselves!
Over-spending does nothing but cause more over-spending. You see, that’s the way they have designed it…to always leave you wanting more. Our lives are so much more valuable! How can we make a difference with our one chance at life and live out our purpose?I choose to serve others. My frugality enables me to give in ways I never would have dreamed.
When I stopped the madness and out-of-control spending I was able to see the needs of others. A sustainable lifestyle also allows me the freedom to teach, be at home with my children, and focus my efforts on encouraging those around me.Difference makers must…
1. Be available. Be willing to be interrupted! Slow down, simplify, and put off the busyness of life. For example, if you have the ability to help your neighbor when they are in need, take notice and help them.
2. Be humble. Resist pride. Don’t compare yourself to others. Every little step you take matters and can make a huge difference.
3. Stop the self-criticism. Do not sell yourself short. Live your passions boldly and pursue them with confidence.
You must remember that only you can do what you were created to do. There’s nothing in the world that you could buy that will satisfy those desires. In order to live frugally and sustainably we must be intentional and we must be faithful. Rejecting consumerism and entering the world of frugality is not an easy choice, it’s counter-cultural. But when we shift our minds away from the self-serving economy we are so accustomed to, and turn them towards the needs of others, the door to a whole new way of life is opened.