Stewardship vs Materialism

 

When I was packing my things for my big move here in Canada, it was only then I realized how much clothes I haven’t worn anymore, some I did not even remember I had. And even when I was giving away so much already, I still had so much left to give away.

Funny, when I arrived here, I realized I left so much that I only have like three t-shirts I can wear for summer. But yeah, I survived! Coming here with only two pieces of luggage was a challenge. But it is slowly teaching me to be content with what I have.

When you go to malls here or outlet stores, mark downs and promotions are just crazy. You will really be tempted to check out each store and see if there’s something you can buy at a very low price. And this is really a challenge for me. I love to shop during these periods – when items on clearance are buy 1, take 1; or, some items have triple discounts. Big sales!! Just crazy! Who would not love to shop?!

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gotcha!! years ago when I was so happy doing retail activity 🙂

One of the things that I really keep praying to God is that I would not go back to that “old me” wherein I feel like I owe myself a treat that I would just buy anything because I deserve it and it’s really a good sale. I want to be a much, much, much better steward this time. There are a lot of temptations here but I really pray that God would always remind me of what is important to Him.

One thing I got reminded in yesterday’s Sunday message was that the most effective way of overcoming materialism is through tithing. Tithing is not about giving to the Lord. What we have belongs to God. We are just stewards of everything that we have right now. Tithing is bringing to God what belongs to Him – the best of our crop.

As for me, tithing reminds me that what I have is not for me to just spend and enjoy but for me to make sure it is put to good use also.  There is nothing wrong with spending on things that we like or enjoy as long as we are not consumed by those things. That is when materialism comes into our life.

I’m excited on how God will continue to change me to become a better steward of the resources He has given and will give to me. Indeed, to be able to give is a privilege because it is only through God’s provision that we are able to do so.

As of today, I only have two pieces of luggage with me. And I intend to keep it that way. I’m really challenging myself on this and I hope that I would really be able to overcome being a “big sale” enthusiast! Also, I hope I would learn to let go of things when I have to. It was hard for me to give away my stuff before I left but that had helped me somehow not to hold on to things tightly.

Challenge is on!

“Because Your Love is better than life…” Psalm 63:3

 

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Preparing for the Blessing

We all have different phases in our life.  A time of great content, waiting, suffering, discipline – whatever you call that season in your life, we always go through specific journeys that mold us to be better and deepen our intimacy with God.

As for me, I can call this season of my life, the time of outpour. As God has sustained me in the times of pruning, then, waiting, now I ask God to prepare me for the blessing.

At the start of this year, God made me see how much I need to improve in the area of stewardship in terms of my finances. Having no job for almost 5 months now made me realize that I can really control my spending if I really want to. I’m not the type of person who likes to do accounting of expenses or anything related to that. I follow a simple budget plan, then, that’s it. I can’t handle anything beyond that. And, that’s why I don’t like monthly bills. 🙂

Having no income, I have to be wise in my spending. I am thankful that God has been providing my day to day needs. And I’m thankful that I didn’t have any pending debts. God dealt with me on debts before and I’m so glad He did! Here’s my story about it -> You gotta have faith!

As I look forward to an exciting journey – new place, new job, new opportunities, I just pray that I will be a better steward this time. I believe that having no job for a few months is also part of God’s preparation for me for the blessings in the future. He allowed me to assess what really matters to Him – and that’s where my finances should go.

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Give me neither poverty nor riches!
    Give me just enough to satisfy my needs.
For if I grow rich, I may deny you and say, “Who is the Lord?”
    And if I am too poor, I may steal and thus insult God’s holy name.

Proverbs 30:8-9

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Honor the Lord with your wealth
    and with the best part of everything you produce.

Proverbs 3:9